Entrepreneur to Headline Social Business Wales Conference


Sam Conniff-Allende, author of the critically acclaimed book ‘Be More Pirate’, will address this year’s Social Business Wales Conference, explaining how the rebels of the high seas were the original social entrepreneurs.

Having mentored thousands of entrepreneurs around the world, Sam will be sharing his unique take on business development at the conference, which takes place at Venue Cymru, Llandudno, on September 25th. Sam has founded businesses that include Livity, Digify and Don’t Panic.

Sam Conniff-Allende said:

“As capitalism continues it's existential crisis and global leadership disappears even further up it's own arse, this truly is the time for social business to show it's courage, ambition and imagination, we have the answers, we have the evidence and we have the leaders, it's time to make sure your story is heard. I'm proud and excited to be coming back to Wales to share my message, meet with my comrades in Social Business and return to the homeland of the pirates, who I think all of us can draw real inspiration from in times like these.”

The conference is an opportunity for Wales’ social businesses to learn from experts in other areas such as digital marketing, business leadership and procurement, through a series of masterclasses. There will also be a special contribution from Wrexham-based social enterprise, Eternal Media and Cwmni Bro Ffestiniog on the transformational impact they’ve had on people’s lives. The event comes as new research shows that the social business sector is worth £3.18 billion to the Welsh economy – an increase of 34% on 2016. The ‘Mapping the Social Business Sector in Wales’ report, commissioned and published by Social Business Wales, also revealed that there are 2,022 social businesses in Wales, employing an estimated 55,000 people.

Glenn Bowen, Enterprise Programme Director at Social Business Wales, said:

“Going into this year’s conference, confidence is high within the sector, with the vast majority of social businesses expecting to experience growth over the next few years. However, the sector faces numerous challenges that pose a risk to continued growth and sustainability. Measures to address issues around ageing leadership, and access to suitable funding options, for example, need to be designed and implemented to secure the sector’s long-term health. It’s a sector that, with support that targets start-ups, growth and sustainability, can continue to grow as we navigate through the impact of the Brexit process.”

Businesses attending the event will also be able to connect with a range of exhibitors from the public, private and social enterprise sector in Wales. The exhibitors will feature a number of the finalists from the Social Business Wales Awards 2019, which have all made a significant economical and social impact across their industry over the past twelve months.

Bowen added:

“We will be encouraging all our delegates attending, whether they are from a social enterprise, charity, co-operative or mutual, to share best practice; encourage innovation; and learn from and build partnerships with the private, public and not-for-profit sector.”

The conference aims to ‘Involve, Inform and Inspire’, and one of the event’s inspirational speakers is Lowri Morgan. An adventurer and endurance athlete, Lowri will talk about how she is motivated to overcome barriers and challenges to succeed. The conference costs £10 to attend, with tickets available online at HERE . The event follows the Social Business Wales Awards ceremony, which is held on the previous evening, September 24th, at Venue Cymru.

Social Business Wales is funded by the European Regional Development Fund and Welsh Government. It is delivered by the Wales Co-operative Centre and is part of the Business Wales service. The project provides business support to social businesses across Wales which have plans for growth and expansion. Wales Co-operative Centre is the national body for co-operatives and social businesses. It also manages projects which tackle digital inclusion through co-operative working.