The enterprises competing for the top honours at the 2021 Social Business Wales Awards have been announced!

“The 2021 Awards will be a moment to celebrate the incredible contributions made by social businesses in Wales, recognising those organisations which have pivoted, grown and thrived in these most challenging conditions.” Derek Walker, CEO, Wales Co-operative Centre

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The social businesses competing for the top honours at this year’s Social Business Wales Awards have been announced!

Running since 2010, the Awards are a high-profile celebration of the Welsh social enterprise movement and demonstrate the strength of social business activity across the length and breadth of Wales. Entrants come from a range of industries, but all demonstrate a dynamic, entrepreneurial, and ambitious attitude that is helping the social business sector to grow despite the pandemic.

This year there are two headline categories – Wales Social Enterprise of the Year, which looks for excellent vision and strategic direction as well as a clearly evidenced social, environmental and community impact, and Wales One to Watch, which looks for new and innovative social enterprises trading under two years with an impressive initial impact and strong vision for the future. Social businesses also had the opportunity to enter the following categories: Tech for Good; Community Impact; and Social Enterprise Team of the Year.

The Social Business Wales Awards are being held virtually for the first time on Tuesday 5th October. The Awards are part of the Social Business Wales project which is funded by Welsh Government and the European Regional Development Fund. The principal sponsor for this year’s Awards is Cowshed Communication, with additional sponsorship provided by Legal & General, Acuity Law, Perago and Triodos Bank.

Derek Walker, Chief Executive of the Wales Co-operative Centre and delivery lead for the Social Business Wales project, said:

“Trading conditions have been significantly disrupted for a lot of businesses over the last 18 months, so for this year’s Awards we are looking to celebrate the resilience and the entrepreneurial spirit of the social business sector.

“The 2021 Awards will also be a moment to celebrate the incredible contributions made by social businesses in Wales, recognising those organisations which have pivoted, grown and thrived in these most challenging conditions.

“We wish all the businesses shortlisted the best of luck at the Awards. We hope that, whatever the outcome, their success will inspire a generation of future social entrepreneurs.”

Vicki Spencer Francis, Managing Director of Cowshed Communication, Principal Sponsor of this year’s Social Business Wales Awards, said:

“Cowshed’s commitment is to deliver exceptional campaigns for clients we love and causes we believe in. And as part of this commitment we have sponsored the awards for the past three years. This year we wanted to go a step further to show our support to social enterprises by becoming that principal sponsor.

“Even though 2020 will be remembered as the year of Covid-19, we will never forget the moments of kindness that made it a year of solidarity, community spirit and co-operation. Social enterprises came into their own, using their unique knowledge of local communities to support those who needed extra help and to supply vital resources and raise money for our NHS. These are the type of achievements we look forward to hearing about and celebrating at the Awards in October.”

Full list of categories and shortlisted finalists for the Social Business Wales Awards 2021 can be found below:

1. Social Enterprise of the Year (sponsored by Cowshed PR): open to social enterprises which have been trading for more than 2 years, in any business sector.

 2. One to Watch (sponsored by Legal & General): open to social enterprises which have been trading for less than 2 years, in any business sector

3. Tech for Good: Technology Social Enterprise (sponsored by Perago): open to social enterprises that have been operating for more 2 years and use technology to achieve social impact.

4. Community Impact (sponsored by Triodos Bank): open to social enterprises that have been operating for more than 2 years and trading for the benefit of the local community.

 5. Social Enterprise Team of the Year (sponsored by Acuity Law): This category acknowledges those teams which, over the course of an extremely challenging year, have demonstrated the strength, passion and resilience which is so characteristic of the social enterprise sector.

NB: As well as running in Wales, the Awards also run in parallel in other UK nations. Scotland, Northern Ireland and England partners use the same categories, time scales, application forms and criteria. Winners from each nation are announced in early autumn and go through to compete in a UK final which is held in December.

Social Business Wales Sponsors 2021: