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16 October 2013

CHC’s Building Enterprise project launch framework and partnership with Charity Bank

Building Enterprise, a Community Housing Cymru (CHC) project funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), will today announce the organisations joining its framework to provide specialist support packages to social enterprises spun-out from Welsh Registered Social Landlords (RSLs).

The Building Enterprise project will provide customised support to RSLs and social enterprises operating in convergence areas and aims to support the local economy, individuals and enterprises to lock the Welsh pound into Welsh communities. The tender process for organisations to join the framework closed on the 11th September and those on the framework, with legal, financial, technical and business management experience, will work with social enterprises and RSLs to partner and encourage new business models that will create local jobs and anchor wealth in disadvantaged communities.

RSLs are well placed to support communities in using their skills and assets to support new and exciting social enterprises. With combined annual spending of over £1 billion and a fixed asset base of over £2.5 billion, Welsh RSLs are amongst the largest and most influential social enterprises in Wales. The vast majority of this wealth remains locked in Wales. Building Enterprise aims to maximise the community benefit from this spend.

In addition to launching the framework, the event will also see Community Housing Cymru and Charity Bank launch a financial package to get organisations to a position of investment readiness. This will be available to both RSLs and social enterprises.

Commenting on the launch of the framework and the partnership with Charity Bank, Sioned Hughes, Director of Policy and Regeneration at Community Housing Cymru said: “We have some fantastic organisations in the framework and have significant skills, abilities and expertise to draw on to ensure social enterprises and RSLs are maximising community impact through procurement.”

“We welcome the support of Charity Bank. In addition to offering operational support to those involved with Building Enterprise, the partnership with Charity Bank will ensure all organisations will be able to access growth capital.”

Charity Bank Chief Executive Patrick Crawford said: “Unfortunately, too many good commercial ideas can fail to materialise due to a lack of capital, an absence of the most appropriate managerial skills or insufficient understanding of the marketplace. By addressing these issues, I believe that Charity Bank’s partnership with CHC will provide an approach to investment readiness that can transform the landscape of Welsh social enterprise and deliver sustainable community benefits.”

The following organisations have been appointed to the Building Enterprise project framework:

• Angles
• The Means
• Landsker
• Planed
• The Red Shoes Biz Woman
• Consultancy Co-op
• Shelter Cymru
• Cyngor Da Cyf
• InProc (Hugh James)
• Social Enterprise North West
• CM International
• AP Benson
• Trowers & Hamlins LLP
• Wales Co-operative Centre
• Hugh James
• Eversheds
• The Creative Thinking Company
• Robert Chapman & Company
• Social Enterprise Solutions Cymru