Social businesses include co-operatives, mutuals, social enterprises and employee owned businesses. Our research surveyed almost half the businesses operating in the sector and provides an update on our 2014 report. The survey was conducted between September and December 2016.
Value of Sector: 2.37bn
The entire sector is worth an estimated £2.37billion to the Welsh economy
Jobs Supported: 40,800
The sector supports 40,800 paid jobs and between 48,000-58,000 volunteers
- Social businesses are found in areas of social deprivation, supporting communities, offering jobs and training and often providing services that the public and private sectors would struggle to maintain.
- Social businesses are businesses driven by social or environmental aims. In Wales, a large number of these are focused on improving a particular community or improving health and well-being.
- The sector is growing and evolving. 84% of social businesses attracted new customers or clients in the last 12 months. The sector is confident for the future, with 69% of social businesses expecting turnover to increase over the next two to three years.
- Access to funding was commonly cited as a barrier to growth while a growing proportion highlight time pressures as a significant barrier.
- Social businesses identified the need for support with finding investment, marketing and finance to help grow and sustain their businesses.
There is clear evidence of a growing, increasingly confident and entrepreneurial social business sector that is built upon strengthening foundations. The report suggests that the sector has experienced real growth in the two years since the last in-depth research was carried out. It offers a snapshot of a sector that is dynamic and responsive and is constantly looking to evolve and offer new products and services.
ARE YOU A SOCIAL ENTERPRISE?
The increase in turnover, jobs and volunteer opportunities supported by the sector will have an impact on local economies, community cohesion, and individual people’s potential to develop themselves through paid employment, work experience, and training. The social benefits of these businesses have tangible effects which are having a positive impact on communities throughout Wales.