Gwynedd acknowledged as the first ‘Social Enterprise’ county in Wales with the launch of Social Enterprise Forum
An Enterprise Forum made up of fifteen of Gwynedd’s main social enterprises was launched recently at Galeri, Caernarfon.
Social enterprises are community based businesses that deliver services for those communities they serve with all surpluses reinvested in their operation. Profits are not distributed to shareholders but rather are reinvested to enhance services and/or create more jobs locally. Between them the 15 have annual turnovers totalling £30,024,621, a total asset base of £322,831,057, and they employ 476 full-time and 197 part-time as well as offer work opportunities for 1028 volunteers.
Walis George of the Cynefin Social Housing Group, chaired the launch. He thanked both Gwynedd Council and the Wales Co-operative Centre for their practical support over the years for individual enterprises and for helping to establish the Forum.
“The Forum has been actively and practically supported by Gwynedd Council as it sees the members as offering vital services to communities within the county. There is a close working relationship that is continually developing and we hope that we can help the local authority with the financial challenges it faces over the next few years and its efforts to sustain services. The Wales Co-operative Centre has been instrumental in establishing this Forum and we thank them for their vision and efforts.”
The Social Enterprise Forum in Gwynedd has three main aims:
- To cement a closer relationship with Gwynedd council and other public bodies to ensure that services are sustained and even enhanced
- Members working together to share good practice and develop the sector, especially supporting the numerous fledgling social enterprises within Gwynedd that are not involved at present
- Working together to identify and develop new opportunities to provide new and enhanced services that can benefit the people and communities of Gwynedd
Charlie Wigglesworth of Social Enterprises UK attended the event which commemorated Gwynedd recognition as a Social Enterprise County. He congratulated Gwynedd as being the first county in Wales to receive this accolade and the seventh area in the British Isles to date. The award has been established to recognise those areas where there is an active and mature social enterprise sector that is making a meaningful difference to people’s lives.
(L-r: Walis George, CEO Grŵp Cynefin; Glenn Bowen, Wales Co-operative Centre; Charlie Wigglesworth, SEUK, Gwenllian Roberts, Welsh Government; Dyfed Edwards, Gwynedd Council).