Social Businesses to Benefit from £700,000 Boost

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Start-up social businesses in east Wales will benefit from a new pot of money to help them grow.

Counsel General and Brexit Minister Jeremy Miles announced the £700,000 financial expansion to support the creation of new social businesses in east Wales.

Thanks to EU funding, Social Business Wales New Start project has been supporting new social businesses in the West Wales and Valleys region since June 2019.

There are more than 2,000 social businesses in Wales, worth more than £3 billion to the Welsh economy. They employ around 55,000 people and offer volunteering opportunities to around 58,000 more.

Mr Miles said:

“I’m delighted that this additional funding will provide the tools to help set up another 50 social businesses in east Wales, owned and controlled by the communities they serve, and earning profits that can be reinvested in those communities and create much-needed jobs.

“It’s essential that we continue to control our own regional investment strategy in future, channelling funds like this to support all parts of Wales. We’ll be releasing more details on how we would like this to look in the coming weeks.”

Lee Waters, the Deputy Minister for Economy and Transport with responsibility for the Valleys Taskforce, said:

“Growing the valuable social enterprise sector is part of our ambition to achieve our aim of prosperity for all as it plays a key role in the foundational and wider economy.

“This important sector creates jobs, improves educational attainment, provides social care in people’s homes and reduces inequality, particularly in our most deprived communities. I am delighted further funding is being provided to expand the project into the east Wales region.”

Working with Business Wales and Social Business Wales, Social Business Wales (New Start) will provide the tools and one to one support to help set up new social businesses, targeting communities that have seen significant economic decline such as inner city areas and coastal and rural communities.

Carly McCreesh, Project Manager for Social Business Wales at the Wales Co-operative Centre, said:

“At the Wales Co-operative Centre we understand the importance of social businesses in helping to build a fairer economy which purposefully uses profit to help both people and the planet.

“The latest EU set of funding from Welsh Government for a new start business support service in east Wales will help us reach our ambitious target of creating 250 social businesses across Wales over the next three years, providing quality jobs and essential services anchored in our communities.

“So if you are an ambitious social entrepreneur from east Wales with an exciting idea for a new business and have a clear vision of the impact you want to make, please get in touch with our Social Business Wales project to find out about the specialist support we can offer.”