After a break in 2020, Social Business Wales has announced that 2021 will see the return of the Social Business Wales Awards. This year, more than ever, the business support programme wants to highlight the tremendous spirit of the social business sector and its contribution to communities across Wales. Applications for the Awards open on Monday 24 May with a deadline of Friday 2 July.
10 Jun 2021
While 2020 will be remembered as the year of Covid-19, it was also a year of solidarity, community spirit and co-operation. Social enterprises reached out to communities across Wales to support those who needed extra help; and they also stepped up to supply vital resources and raise money for our NHS. It was a year of enormous resilience and change for the sector. These are achievements that will be celebrated by the Awards.
This year there are six main award categories, including three new categories which reflect the ways that social enterprises have really made a difference in the last 12 months:
Social Enterprise of the Year: open to social enterprises which have been trading for more than two years, in any business sector.
One to Watch: open to social enterprises which have been trading for less than two years, in any business sector.
Tech for Good: Technology Social Enterprise: open to social enterprises that have been operating for more a year and use technology to achieve social impact.
Community Impact: open to social enterprises that have been operating for more than a year and trading for the benefit of the local community.
Social Enterprise Team of the Year: This category acknowledges those teams which, over the course of an extremely challenging year, have demonstrated the strength, passion and resilience which is so characteristic of the social enterprise sector.
‘Buy Social’ - Market Builder: Open to any social enterprise, third sector organisation, public sector body or private sector organisation that has demonstrably made efforts within its own organisation and remit to create more opportunities to buy from social enterprises.
Legal & General, a stalwart supporter of the Awards for several years, will once again be sponsoring the ‘One to Watch’ category as Associate Sponsor. This category highlights the entrepreneurs who have taken the bold step to set up a new social business in the last two years and have a clear vision for their enterprise as well as potential for future success and growth. Applicants will also be asked about their commitment to tackling climate change and promoting diversity and inclusion.
Lynne Sheehy, Corporate Social Responsibility Manager, Legal and General said: "Working in partnership with the Wales Co-operative Centre we support early start -up businesses in Wales through our Social Enterprise Assist fund.
We recognise and value the positive impact these small businesses have in the heart of our communities and the significant contribution they make to the economy.
That’s why we’re delighted to once again be supporting the Awards and joining in celebrating the achievements of these businesses in helping us to build back responsibly."
The Awards are delivered as part of the Social Business Wales programme which is funded by the European Regional Development Fund through Welsh Government and delivered by the Wales Co-operative Centre.
Director for Enterprise at the Wales Co-operative Centre, Glenn Bowen, said: "2020 was hugely challenging for businesses, and social businesses were no exception. But many of them stepped up and responded to the challenges of the pandemic, showing great resilience and creativity along the way in terms of absorbing stress, maintaining critical functionality, and thriving in altered circumstances.
We also know that social businesses will play a huge role in future efforts to build back our economy and communities in a way which is sustainable and fair.
It feels like the right time to celebrate the sector, and we’re delighted to have Legal & General on board to help us do this."