Showcasing the Best of Welsh Business

North Wales in the Spotlight at the Social Business Wales Conference 2017


North Wales will be in the spotlight at this year’s national conference for the social enterprise and co-operative sector in Wales.

The Social Business Wales Conference, funded by the Welsh Government and European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), will be held at Llangollen Pavilion in Denbighshire on 5th October and feature keynote speakers from a range of backgrounds – government, third sector, public sector, industry bodies and social enterprise – all providing an inspiring and challenging perspective on the growth opportunities for social businesses in Wales. The one-day business conference will be compered by S4C’s Morgan Jones.

Keynote speakers confirmed:

  • Secretary for Economy & Infrastructure, Ken Skates AMAddressing the conference in his home constituency, the Cabinet Secretary has responsibility for social enterprise and the social economy within his remit.
  • Alan Mahon, BrewgooderBrewgooder is a very successful Scottish social enterprise that donates 100% of its profits from the sales of craft beer to clean water projects around the world. Alan will talk about how the business has grown since its inception and the challenges of upscaling, by selling nationally through a supermarket.
  • Jo Wolfe, Reason Digital – Jo will be talking about the Third Sector Digital Maturity Matrix, a free tool that assesses the level to which a not-for-profit organisation is making use of digital technology, and its capability to do so. Jo developed the matrix during her time at Breast Cancer Care.

The Conference will also be running a series of practical workshops and facilitated discussions, with contributions from North Wales’s leading social entrepreneurs, including: Menna Jones of Antur Waunfawr; Sharon Jones of Creating Enterprise; Kelly Davies of Vi-Ability; Alison Hill of CAIA Park and Ceri Cunnington of Antur Stiniog and GISDA.

Nicola Mehegan, project manager for Social Business Wales at the Wales Co-operative Centre, said:

“We are delighted to bring the Social Business Wales Conference to north Wales, which is a becoming a real hive for social business innovation and best practice. We hope the Conference will provide all delegates with inspiration, ideas and practical skills to help them enter new markets, develop new products and adopt new structures – all of them which enable them to grow and be more sustainable. We will be encouraging all our delegates attending, whether they are from a social enterprise, charity or local authority to use this opportunity to build partnerships with one another and do business.”

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 all the finalists from the Social Business Wales Awards 2017, which have all made a significant economical and social impact across their industry over the past 12 months.

Mehegan added:

“The social business sector in Wales is redefining how business gets done, supporting over 40,000 paid jobs and over 48,000 volunteers and contributing an estimated £2,37billion* to the Welsh economy. We also know that when you buy from them, society profits.”

The Social Business Wales Conference is free and open to any social business in Wales that is looking to grow. To book your free place visit:

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 poverty and promote inclusion through co-operative working.