Wales’s national body for social enterprises and co-operatives is calling on entrepreneurs across Wales to be positively enterprising in 2020 and join the growing movement of businesses which purposefully use profit to help both people and planet.
Social businesses are often created to address a social problem. Unlike private businesses, their profits are not distributed to shareholders who are driven by profit maximisation. Instead, their profits are reinvested back into the business to increase its social impact or put towards funding a specific social objective. The social business sector in Wales currently comprises over 2,000 enterprises, employs more than 55,000 people and contributes £3.18 billion a year to the Welsh economy, a 34% increase on findings in 2016*.
The Social Business Wales programme, led by the Wales Co-operative Centre and part of the Business Wales service, is hosting a number of free events over the next fortnight to encourage aspiring entrepreneurs in Wales to set-up new social businesses. Funded by the European Regional Development Fund, the project aims to create 200 brand new social businesses in Wales over the next three years, providing quality jobs and essential services anchored in communities.
The free events will include presentations from entrepreneurs who have successfully established social businesses, including representatives from PeopleSpeakUp (Llanelli), Canolfan Beaumaris (Anglesey) and Riverside Market Garden (Cardiff). Attendees will also have a chance to meet their local Social Business Wales team and find out about the free specialist support on offer; from advice on different legal structures; writing business plans and governing documents; to developing an investment strategy.
Glenn Bowen, Enterprise Programme Director at the Wales Co-operative Centre, said:
“At the Wales Co-operative Centre we’ve been right at the heart of Wales’ vibrant social economy since the 1980s and have helped to create hundreds of new businesses, providing important services and creating much needed jobs for some of our poorest communities. We know what’s needed to start a successful social enterprise and with over 150 individuals signed up to attend our New Start events over the next two weeks, we can already see the appetite from entrepreneurs to join this growing movement.”
Carly McCreesh, Project Manager for new start support within Social Business Wales, said:
“At Social Business Wales we want to work with passionate and ambitious social entrepreneurs that want to start strong and sustainable social businesses. So if you’ve got an exciting idea for a new business and have a clear vision of the impact you want to make, please get in touch to find out about the specialist support we can offer.”