People from the Rhondda are being encouraged to use their spending power to create positive social and environmental impacts by supporting social enterprises locally on Saturday 10th October.
Social enterprises are businesses that trade to meet a social or environmental mission. They make a profit like any other business but they reinvest or donate their profits to create a positive social impact.
Rhondda Cynon Taf has 144 social enterprises, the most in any one area in Wales. These include Cynon Valley Indoor Bowls Centre, Aberdare Rugby Union Football Club and Abercynon RFC.
The Social Saturday campaign in Wales is run by the Wales Co-operative Centre, Wales’ national body for co-operatives and social businesses, and is a day for the general public to celebrate, raise awareness about and buy from social enterprises.
One social enterprise that is thriving in the Rhondda is Cambrian Lakeside Limited, which was set up in November 2013.
Cambrian Lakeside Limited comprises of the Cambrian Sky Blue Café Bar and the 3G sports facility based in Tonypandy.
Around 1500 people use the facilities on a weekly basis and the organisation now employs 11 local people to run the café, manage the 3G sports facility and to run community outreach initiatives such as school sports sessions.
Phillip Williams, director of Cambrian Lakeside Limited, said: “Social Saturday is a great way of pinpointing social enterprises and the work that they do within local communities across Wales. All the profit that we generate from our café and 3G pitch hire goes back into improving our facilities.
“Last year, 17 boys that used our facilities and played for our clubs went on to sign for professional football clubs. Without social enterprises like the Cambrian Lakeside Limited, these young people may not have had the chance to get engaged with the sport.
“People are increasingly conscious about the impact their spending and consumption can have, so want to buy from businesses that are putting back into the region. Raising people’s awareness of social enterprises is great, and if it encourages one person to buy from a local social business, that is a great result.”
The Social Saturday campaign in Wales is run by the Wales Co-operative Centre, Wales’ national body for co-operatives and social businesses. The ‘social business’ sector in Wales is worth an estimated £1.7billion. There are 1,500 social enterprises, employing 38,000 people, who are supported by 38,500 active volunteers.
Rhian Edwards, Social Business Wales Project Manager for the Wales Co-operative Centre, said: “Social enterprises are redefining how business gets done. When you buy from them, society profits. The Big Issue, Divine Chocolate and Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen restaurant chain are among the best-known social enterprises but there are thousands of less high profile businesses in Wales that provide high quality, ethically sourced products and services, and re-invest some or all of their profits in a socially responsible manner.
“Social Saturday is all about celebrating and raising awareness about our growing movement. This year we want to really put social enterprise on the map in Wales. When you buy from social enterprises your money goes so much further; I encourage you to go out there and buy social this Saturday.”
The Social Saturday campaign is delivered by the Wales Co-operative Centre’s Social Business Wales project. The project has been part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government. Part of the Business Wales family, Social Business Wales delivers targeted support to co-operatives and social businesses to enable them to grow. Around 500 new jobs are expected to be created over the next five years.
For more information on Social Saturday and how to get involved, visit www.walescooperative.org/socialsaturday and use the hashtag #SocialSaturday2015
FAST FACTS – Social Business Sector in Wales
- The ‘social business’ sector in Wales is worth an estimated £1.7billion
- There are 1,500 social enterprises, employing 38,000 people, who are supported by 38,500 active volunteers.
- Rhondda Cynon Taff tops the list for having the most social enterprises with 144, followed by Swansea with 130 and Cardiff with 128.
- The majority of social businesses operate within the culture and leisure sector (32%), followed by health and social care (31%) and education (25%).