About Community Enterprise Wales

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Community Enterprise Wales (CEW) was established in 1993 as a Company Limited by guarantee, to provide support and guidance for social enterprises across Wales.

Our Mission Statement

To promote the concept of Community Economic Regeneration through social enterprise as a mechanism for providing quality, sustainable employment, training opportunities and local services; Wales wide through networking, development support, lobbying and informing.

Our Main Objectives are:

  • Gaining continued recognition for the success of social enterprises in Wales
  • Publicising an awareness of social enterprise development objectives and practice
  • Re-enforcing the roles identified by Community Enterprise Wales for its work in the fields of networking, social enterprise development and support
  • Attracting resources for social enterprise development to reach its potential
  • Influencing policies and legislation which affect the social enterprise movement
  • Securing Community Enterprise Wales’s future

CEW aims to:

  • Serve the needs of members businesses, organisations and individuals
  • Promote the ethos of community leadership, management and creation of wealth for communities
  • Promote the concept of social Enterprise at regional (Wales) and national level (UK)
  • Encourage networking and partnership between members
  • Provide a forum for discussion of issues relevant to the Community
  • Mainstream social enterprise on a cross sector, all party basis
  • Continue to promote the value of the social enterprise sector in economic development
  • Ensure that all members continue to benefit at all levels from the strategic approach of CEW
  • Increase partnership and direct working with our social enterprises

CEW believes a social Enterprise is ‘a private business with a social conscience.’

CEW’s role in economic development & regeneration - Strategic Projects:
CEW is working with Heads of The Valleys (HOV), through the City Strategies – Job Match Programme to embed 3rd Sector organisation into the delivery of that programme.

Welsh Housing Quality Standards and Stock Transfer (WHQS): CEW is working with I2I, Local authorities, RSL’s, construction companies and other private sector organisations to help deliver on the ‘lasting legacy’ that this huge investment in housing offers to communities in Wales.

Convergence: CEW participate in working groups for Priority 5 – Sustainable Communities. It is generally accepted that convergence funding will be the last round of European funding that will come to Wales. CEW is working with partners to maximise the impact and benefits of convergence funding for its members and eligible communities throughout Wales.

By Utilising the skills, experience and local credibility of partner organisations we can engage with and bring benefits to people living in the most deprived areas of Wales.

Economic Development is not just about job and wealth creation: it should also be about creating socially and environmentally healthy communities where fresh economic activity can thrive. In recent years both Regional and National Government have recognised the economic, as well as social benefits of social Enterprise.  Social Enterprise is a growth activity where other businesses cannot flourish.

In many areas it is already acknowledged that previously recognised methods for economic growth no longer work whatever the prevailing circumstances.  New and more lateral thinking needs to be applied.  This is a window of opportunity for social enterprise.

CEW’S role in Wales:
There is a thriving social enterprise culture throughout Wales. The reasons for growth in Community Businesses and Social Firms are job losses, lack of services, unemployment, and the market opportunities, but the models they follow are diverse.

The Social Enterprise Strategy For Wales cites that there is estimated to be some 620 social enterprises in Wales contributing annual turnover of around £163 million and employment for 5,600 people.

The range of businesses are enormous: cafés, laundrettes, crèche/nursery facilities, activity and adventure holidays, bookshops, training providers, art and craft shops, galleries and garden centres to name but a few.  

Many of the changes in Wales have come about as a result of the hard work by Community Enterprise Wales on behalf of its members. CEW has lobbied hard to get social Enterprise into the mainstream, where it is now recognised as an important component in economic development planning at local, regional and national level.

The establishment of the National Assembly in 1999, along with the new range of funds and funders has improved the situation since CEW was established nearly 14 years ago, but there is still a long way to go.

CEW is also working with lead sector publications such as Newstart and Social Enterprise magazine to showcase and raise awareness of social enterprise activity in Wales.


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