Michael Sheen looking for new challengers to take home Welsh Social Enterprise crown

Social Business Wales Awards officially open for applications.

1 Jun, 18

The Social Business Wales Awards 2018 have been officially launched and open for applications. Recognising excellence amongst the social business sector in Wales, the Awards have become a fantastic platform for many different types of social businesses to celebrate the successes and achievements of the last 12 months.

This year, the Social Business Wales Awards feature three headline categories – Wales Social Enterprise of the Year; Wales One to Watch and Wales Employee Owned Business of the Year. Social enterprises can also enter five other categories – Health and Social Care; Consumer Facing, Environmental; Education, Training and Employment; and Tech for Good.

The Awards have been running since 2010 and are part of the Social Business Wales project, which is funded by Welsh Government and the European Regional Development Fund. The project provides business support to social businesses across Wales which have plans for growth, and is delivered by the Wales Co-operative Centre as part of the Business Wales service.

Winners of the Social Business Wales Awards will be announced at an awards ceremony in September at Cardiff City Hall.

Michael Sheen, Patron of Social Enterprise UK, President of WCVA and ambassador for the social enterprise and co-operative movement in Wales, said:

“The Awards are a fantastic opportunity to not only celebrate the work of social businesses in Wales, but also to find new organisations doing great things.

As a nation it is an opportunity for all of us to get behind them and the incredible work they do and to push for greater equality in our society. Social businesses put people before profit – celebrating their success helps to inspire others to set up their own social business and reminds us all that we should buy social whenever we can!

Social business should be the norm in Wales and whilst we aren’t there yet it is improving and I hope we’ll see some new challengers looking to take home the awards this year.” 

Creative Enterprise was crowned Welsh Social Enterprise of the Year last year and was highly commended at the UK finals in the Education, Training and Employment category. Based in Abergele, North Wales, Creating Enterprise provides property maintenance services to social and private landlords, local authorities and property management companies. Through its employment academy, it provides jobs and training to social housing tenants who are struggling to get into work.

Sharon Jones, Business & Partnership Director at Creating Enterprise, reflects on last year’s success. She said:

“Creating Enterprise has had huge success in the last 12 months. The accreditation from the Social Business Wales Awards gave us the credibility to win new contracts and develop. We have opened our own purpose built premises in Mochdre, with an Employment Academy, offices and improved facilities.

“I would advise other social businesses to apply for the awards. It could make a huge difference to your organisation. We have used the accreditation to promote our services and facilities and the awards have raised the profile of our social enterprise at a local and national level.”

This year, the Award categories have been sponsored by NatWest, Legal & General, Arup, BIC Innovation, Acuity Legal, ISG Plc, Cowshed and Reason Digital, with additional support from The Co-op and Social Investment Cymru, part of the Wales Council for Voluntary Associations (WCVA).

Social businesses, which include social enterprises, mutuals, co-operatives and employee owned businesses, can receive an application pack for this year’s awards by visiting the Wales Co-operative Centre’s website and registering their interest: http://bit.ly/sbwawards18

Image Caption: Creating Enterprise, Winners of Social ENterprise of the Year 2017