Erika Rushton – programme director

Erika is the founder and director of Creative Economist, specialising in creative and community entrepreneurship and its capacity for transforming places. She consistently makes creativity applied, viable and inclusive and has championed community ownership of land, property and wealth by leading from the front and taking direct action. She is the founder of successive community-led and owned property companies, investment funds and supports hundreds of creative and social businesses to make their individual and collective dreams reality.

Erika has been widely recognised for her contributions to the creative and digital sector, the social economy and gender equality. She most recently won Northern Power Women’s Transformational Leader Award, Insider North West Property’s Game Changer Award and is listed as one of NatWest’s national 100 WISE women and a finalist for its Wise Investor Award.

Erika is currently delivering a £7m expansion of Islington Mill Arts Club and studios in Salford. She is a founder and programme director of Kindred and is a founder of the One Day network – a group of women who rewrote Liverpool City Region’s economic strategy from a women’s perspective, to benefit everyone.

Erika mentors creative women leaders internationally, lectures internationally and works voluntarily to address intersectional gender discrimination in the UK.