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Social enterprise

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We recognize the huge contribution made by the Third Sector to life in Wales.
Our goal is to expand and grow social enterprise across Wales. This Action Plan is an opportunity to review, refresh and update both the 2005 Strategy and its Actions.
People standing in a circle and smiling.
Our role for successful Welsh social enterprises is to provide them with the right support to develop, grow and flourish.

Our vision

Our vision is of dynamic and sustainable social enterprises strengthening an inclusive and growing economy. We also need to achieve greater recognition for the benefits that the social enterprise sector offers Wales’ economic life. We must work in partnership to encourage, develop and sustain social enterprises at all stages in their development.

Our aim

Our aim for social enterprises are:

  • The creation of an environment that encourages new social enterprises and capitalises on opportunities for growth;
  • the establishment of integrated support for the sector involving mainstream, and
  • specialist agencies leading to the creation of a thriving social enterprise sector in Wales.

What is a social enterprise?

A social enterprise is a business with social objectives. Their left-over profits are reinvested for that purpose in the business or the community, instead of raising profit for shareholders and owners.

Social enterprises tackle a wide range of social and environmental issues. They compete in the marketplace like other businesses, using their business skills to achieve social aims. Like other businesses, social enterprises aim to sustain their business and make profits. The difference is what they do with the profits.

What is the social economy?

The social economy includes the many and varied organisations that work outside the private and public sector. They include:

  • Voluntary organisations;
  • Community groups;
  • Self-help groups;
  • Community co-operatives and enterprises;
  • Religious organisations, and
  • other not for profit distribution organisations of benefit to the communities and the people of Wales.