26 Aug, 16
Recognising excellence amongst the social business sector in Wales, the Awards create a fantastic opportunity for many different types of social business to come together and celebrate the successes and achievements of the sector.
Part of the Social Business Wales project, which is delivered by the Wales Co-operative Centre, the Awards are funded by the European Regional Development Fund and Welsh Government. This year, the Award Categories have been sponsored by Acuity Legal, BIC Innovation, Charity Bank, Hugh James Solicitors, Landsker Business Solutions, Legal & General and NatWest, with additional support from the Wales Council for Voluntary Associations (WCVA).
The standard of entries from across Wales has been very high, illustrating that our social businesses are making an important contribution to the Welsh economy whilst delivering significant social and environmental benefits.
– Rhian Edwards, Project Manager for Social Business Wales
This year, for the first time, social businesses have been able to also enter five categories which are specific to different business sectors.
The ‘Culture and Leisure’ category, sponsored by Charity Bank, recognised outstanding social businesses working in diverse industries such as tourism, sport, arts and heritage. The finalists in this category are Denbighshire Music Co-operative, Run 4 Wales and Torfaen Leisure Trust.
The ‘Health and Social Care’ category, sponsored by Legal & General, was looking for innovative social businesses delivering care in new ways. Finalists CAIS Social Enterprises Ltd, Rhyl City Strategy and Wales Restorative Approaches Partnership all demonstrated alternative models of care.
The ‘Education, Training and Employment’ award, sponsored by NatWest, was for social businesses working with those furthest from the labour market, including businesses which provide formal and informal learning opportunities, apprenticeships, work-based training, work placements, jobs for people in a supported environment, and social firms. The finalists are Cycle Training Wales, the Fern Partnership and Full Circle Education.
The hotly contested ‘Environmental’ category, sponsored by Acuity Legal, attracted applications from social businesses in recycling, waste collection, furniture re-use, energy generation, environmental consultancy, resource management, conservation, community woodlands and community land trusts. The three finalists are Awel Aman Tawe, Dulas and Greenstream Flooring.
The final sector category is for ‘Consumer Facing’ social businesses – those serving the general public and have a presence in communities across Wales. This category is sponsored by Hugh James Solicitors. Bangor Gymnastics, the Market Hall Cinema and Too Good to Waste are the finalists in this category.
This year the Awards once again feature two headline categories – ‘Social Enterprise of the Year’ and ‘One to Watch’. Winners of the sector categories will automatically go through to these categories (depending on their length of trading). In addition, three other social businesses have been shortlisted for one to Watch. They are Creating Enterprise CIC, Denbighshire Music Co-operative and Elite Paper Solutions.
Rhian Edwards, Project Manager for Social Business Wales, commented:
“Now in their sixth year, the Social Business Wales Awards have become known as the leading awards scheme for the sector. We are delighted with the number of fantastic businesses that have entered this year.”
“The standard of entries from across Wales has been very high, illustrating that our social businesses are making an important contribution to the Welsh economy whilst delivering significant social and environmental benefits. These Awards will ensure they gain the recognition they deserve.”
“Congratulations to all those on the shortlist and best of luck at the Awards Ceremony!”
The Awards will be presented on Wednesday 28 September at an evening ceremony held at the Liberty Stadium in Swansea. Tickets for the ceremony are free, and can be booked at sbwconferenceandawards2016.eventbrite.co.uk.