Wales social enterprise business sector 'worth £2.37bn'

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Media caption"Where a case is being made for a social enterprises to deliver a public service, we are seeing more of that"

The social business sector in Wales is worth £2.37bn to the Welsh economy and is supporting about 41,000 jobs, according to data published on Monday.

The report, Mapping the Social Business Sector in Wales, identified 1,698 organisations operating in the social business sector in Wales.

This includes co-operatives, mutuals, social enterprises and employee-owned businesses.

It is based on a survey of 810 organisations - 48% of the sector.

Other key findings of the report were:

  • The sector supports between 48,000 and 58,000 volunteers
  • Social businesses are found in areas of social deprivation, supporting communities, offering jobs and training, and often providing services the public and private sectors would struggle to maintain
  • They are businesses driven by social or environmental aims
  • The sector is growing and evolving
  • Social businesses identified the need for support with finding investment, marketing and finance to help grow and sustain their business

Glenn Bowen, director of enterprise at the Wales Co-operative Centre, said the report suggested there had been "real growth" in the sector in the last two years.

He said: "Social businesses are often formed as a result of issues identified at a grassroots level by a local community.

"They plug gaps in provision and, in some cases, grow through innovative delivery and defining services in direct response to their community's needs."

Economy Secretary Ken Skates said the Welsh Government was "committed to working closely with social businesses to help them to thrive and grow".

The research was commissioned by Social Business Wales and conducted by Wavehill Ltd.

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