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Making the case for social businesses delivering the Well-being of Future Generations Act

Social businesses should be ideally placed to help public bodies deliver the Well-being of Future Generations Act. But how can we help public bodies to understand social businesses and how we can help them deliver the Act? This blog includes links to tools and resources that can help social businesses in their conversations with public bodies. Try them out and let us know if they are useful in your conversations.

By Ceri-Anne Fidler Jones · February 5, 2020

See this page in: Cymraeg

The Welsh Government’s Well-being of Future Generations Act aims to improve the economic, environmental, social and cultural well-being of Wales. Public bodies are required to work together to proactively address future challenges, while working with the individuals and communities around them.  Solutions must be sustainable and cannot compromise the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

The Act should be an opportunity for social businesses in Wales.  As businesses driven by purpose, they exist to deliver economic, social, environmental and cultural aims. They have real potential to help deliver the Act.  But social businesses are telling us that they aren’t yet seeing a substantial change in approach on the ground.  How can we help public bodies to understand social businesses and how social businesses can help them deliver the Act?

As a sector, we need clear messages about how social businesses can help deliver the Act.  As businesses driven by economic, social, environmental or cultural goals they deliver across the four pillars of well-being – that is the social, economic, environmental and cultural well-being of Wales.  Social businesses embody many of the Act’s five ways of working – long term, prevention, integration, collaboration and involvement.  There are useful tools to help us understand how our projects and work deliver against the Act.  For example, social businesses could work through the Future Generations framework for projects to help gain a deeper understanding of how their work delivers against the Act so that they can be clear in their messages to public bodies.

Some of the guidance issued to public bodies delivering the Act also references social business.  We should point to these examples in our conversations with public bodies.  Journeys to Well-being were developed by the Future Generations Commissioner for Wales, in partnership with the Wales Cooperative Centre and 7 other organisations including Public Health Wales, United Welsh Housing Association and Interlink.  A Journey was developed for each of the well-being goals with ‘steps’ toward change set out. These are the actions that public bodies and other organisations should be taking on their journey to meeting the well-being goals.

They include examples where public bodies should consider working with social businesses.  For example, the Journey to a Prosperous Wales includes fair and local procurement.  Within this are actions that public bodies can take to start working with social businesses.  This includes identifying their local social businesses, appointing social value champions and providing support for social businesses to build capacity to bid for public sector contracts.

Using these tools and resources, we can start to change our conversations with public bodies to show the potential impact our sector could have in delivering the Act.  Let us know if you try them and whether they help your conversations.