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06 August 2013

Building Enterprise launched to grow local social enterprises.

Tuesday 6 August

Finance Minister Jane Hutt will today announce a £900,000 EU funding boost to foster collaboration between social enterprises and housing associations to strengthen services and benefit local communities.

Led by Community Housing Cymru, the Building Enterprise project will assist around fifty organisations and individuals to grow local social enterprises that will support housing associations to provide services and products such as recycling, social care, construction and maintenance.

The project will use the social housing sector’s unique position and relationship with people in communities to develop new employment, training and business opportunities to help deliver and improve key services.

The focus of the project is to ensure participating housing associations have a social enterprise dimension embedded in all procurement and development opportunities.

Announcing the funding at the National Eisteddfod Finance Minister Jane Hutt said: “Collaborative working is at the heart of Welsh Government strategies and I’m delighted that we have been able to invest EU Funds to support this initiative which will benefit many in disadvantaged communities. It will also help to achieve greater recognition for the benefits that the social enterprise sector and what it offers Wales’ economic life.”

The project will have two dedicated staff team, Anthony Hearn, Project Commissioner and Co-ordinator and Jo Wakeham, Finance and Administration and with flexible support from Community Housing Cymru staff.

Anthony Hearn said: “Building Enterprise is a real opportunity to think differently and do differently. In addition to maximising the ability of housing associations to support and create demand, we will be creating and maintaining jobs in local communities, raising skills and confidence levels of local people and creating a sustainable cycle of investment and growth in these areas.”


Sioned Hughes, Director of Policy and Regeneration at CHC added: “Housing associations are mature social enterprises in their own right; they are not-for-profit organisations who provide services and invest in the communities they serve. These strengths and capabilities mean they are ideally placed to support other local social enterprises and we are excited by the opportunity that Building Enterprise presents to do even more to invest in local communities.”

If you are a housing association, social enterprise or entrepreneur operating in a convergence area and need the support of an organisation who will ‘think differently, do differently’ please visit www.buildingenterprise.org for eligibility criteria, FAQ’s and an application form.

To date, EU projects have already assisted over 140,000 individuals to gain qualifications and some 50,000 helped into work. In addition, nearly 19,600 (gross) jobs and nearly 6,000 enterprises have been created.

ENDS


The Minister will launch Building Enterprise at stand D13/14 on Tuesday August 6th, If you would like to attend, please get in touch. We have a number of examples of case studies where housing associations are already working with social enterprises, if you would like to use any of these as case studies for media purposes, let me know.

For further information on the project please contact:

Community Housing Cymru 07791898497 [email protected]