Getting contracts into Wales’ poorest communities high on the agenda at the Social Business Wales Conference 2018

Getting jobs and contracts into Wales’ poorest communities will be high on the agenda at the national conference for the social enterprise and co-operative sector in Wales.

31 Jul, 18

The Social Business Wales Conference, funded by the Welsh Government and European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), will be held at the Cardiff City Hall in September (Thursday 27th) and feature speakers from a range of backgrounds – government, the private sector, public sector and social enterprise – all providing an inspiring and challenging perspective on the vital role social businesses can play in the future growth of the Welsh economy post Brexit.

Dai Powell, CEO of the UK’s most successful transport provider, HCT Group, will headline the annual Conference, alongside the Economy Secretary for Wales, Ken Skates, and Guy Singh-Watson, Founder of Riverford Organic Farmers. Dai Powell has been CEO of HCT Group since 1993, leading the company as it developed from a community transport charity in Hackney, London, into a social enterprise of national scale, creating over 1500 jobs and servicing over 30 million passenger trips annually across England and the Channel Islands.

Rhian Edwards, project manager for Social Business Wales at the Wales Co-operative Centre, said:

“The social business sector in Wales is redefining how business gets done, employing over 40,000 people, offering opportunities to volunteer to approximately 50,000 and contributing an estimated £2.37billion* to the national economy.

“This year’s Social Business Wales Conference is specifically intended to provide these social businesses in Wales with inspiration, ideas and practical skills which will help them enter new markets, develop new products and services or adopt new structures – all of which will enable them to grow and be more sustainable.”

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 2018, which have all made a significant economical and social impact across their industry over the past 12 months.

Edwards 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 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.