#GoodNewsCymru | Social enterprise

Mid Wales ‘Kindness’ hackathon aims to tackle local issues

A Hack of Kindness is an event with a difference – typically used to get groups of tech programmers together to solve industry problems – this hackathon sets the task of coming up with solutions to local, social issues to help Mid Wales communities.

By Mike Erskine · 18 September 2020

See this page in: Cymraeg

Focus Newtown Enterprise Hub has teamed up with Wales Co-operative Centre, which runs the ERDF funded Social Business Wales New Start programme, to hold this online hackathon event.

The goal? To use social enterprise to create sustainable solutions to local issues. It will focus on a range of local issues made worse by the pandemic.

The ‘Hack of Kindness’ is a virtual event, held between 24th September to 1st October. Participants will be given a brief before separating into teams to research and develop their ideas. The teams will meet online for webinars and expert panel sessions on how to start a social enterprise. The week will end with a pitch to a panel of judges.

Organizers are looking for participants from all areas of the community. No prior experience of business or social enterprise is needed; just a desire to make a difference, work with others and to start new projects that will benefit communities.

Assistant Community Manager at Focus Newtown Enterprise Hub, Holly Jones, said:

“Following my attendance at the Wrexham Hack of Kindness in February, I felt inspired by the level of enthusiasm and the quality of ideas and it was something I wanted to replicate in our Newtown Hub. The global pandemic has radically changed the picture in many communities through the intensification of existing social issues and the creation of new social issues. We believe it is the perfect time to launch a digital hack, offering people the chance to work together to create business ideas and innovations aimed at solving these problems.

“I look forward to working with the Social Business Wales New Start programme on this innovative event to help stimulate new ideas, turn them into focused plans to create businesses that are viable, sustainable and capable of making a lasting difference in the Mid Wales community and beyond.”

The Wales Co-operative Centre launched Social Business Wales New Start last year, a brand new programme to encourage aspiring entrepreneurs in Wales to set-up new social businesses. Funded by the European Regional Development Fund, the project aims to create 250 brand new social businesses in Wales over the next three years, providing quality jobs and essential services anchored in communities.

“The ‘Hack of Kindness’ idea has already proved successful in Wrexham by bringing the community together in a positive way. We are thrilled to be bringing the event online across Mid Wales. We are bringing together some great people and great organisations from the area to make a positive change by using enterprising skills, innovation, community concern and commercial thinking to create social value and change. The Hack of Kindness is the perfect environment to get people working together and finding creative solutions to the problems that face us and we can’t wait to see the results

Martin Downes, Social Entrepreneurship Officer, Social Business Wales

Martin Downes

Mid Wales Hack of Kindness

The event will be hosted by the Focus Hub Newtown and run in collaboration with Social Business Wales, Powys County Council, Aberystwyth University, Coleg Ceredigion, Newtown College, Big Ideas Wales, and UnLtd, as well as local trainers and experts.

Register your place


What’s a hackathon?

I wanted to take the ‘hackathon’ concept of an event where people work in teams to solve problems and put the spotlight on tackling social issues with sustainable business ideas. Solutions could be tech based (hence the ‘hack’ part), but not necessarily so. The emphasis is on creative thinking, team working, and looking at the resources that we have personally and in the community to come up with fresh ideas.

As the Social Entrepreneurship Officer at the Wales Co-operative Centre I wanted to develop hackathon events as a powerful way to draw people together and to promote social enterprise.


Why we called it the ‘Hack of Kindness’

Calling it the ‘Mid Wales Hackathon’ doesn’t really spark the imagination. Social enterprise is about combining doing good for communities with commercial sustainability, or ‘profit with a purpose’. Social enterprises exist to make a positive difference.


To take part in the Hackathon, either register your place at https://bit.ly/MWHackofKindness or contact Holly Jones on hollyj@focusenterprisehubs.wales  or 01686 806349.

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