|Printable version||E-mail this to a friend|
New £4m EU-backed fund to invest in Welsh social businesses
A new £4m fund to invest in Wales’ social business sector has been announced by Welsh Finance Secretary Mark Drakeford.
The new Social Business Growth Fund, backed by £2.3m of EU funds, will make funding packages of up to £150,000 available to social businesses across Wales.
Managed by the Wales Council for Voluntary Action (WCVA), it will support the growth of Welsh social businesses and help develop new products, services and markets.
Professor Drakeford said:
“Social businesses make important contributions to regenerating communities and delivering local services, as well as creating jobs and enterprises, so I’m delighted to announce this support for this sector.
“This fund complements the specialist support already available through Business Wales and will help social businesses expand, pursue new opportunities and continue to play a valuable role in our economy and society.”
Investments through the fund will involve a mix of grant funding and repayable finance, with financial incentives for social businesses that exceed job creation targets.
Around 45 social businesses across Wales are expected to benefit from the fund over the next three years.
Matthew Brown, head of social investment at WCVA, said:
“We know that social businesses in Wales are dynamic and they create jobs in the communities that need them most but we also know social businesses can struggle to access the finance they need to fulfil their potential.
“The Social Business Growth Fund will help fill this finance gap by innovatively using EU funds to target financial assistance at social businesses that can demonstrate their readiness to grow. We look forward to putting this investment to work in communities across Wales.”
The investment in the Social Business Growth Fund follows this week’s launch of the £136m Wales Business Fund, which has been backed by £76m of EU funds and will offer loans and equity investments of £50,000 to £2m to small and medium-sized businesses.
Professor Drakeford added:
“EU funds are worth around £650m to Wales every year and these investments in social businesses and SMEs are excellent examples of how this important source of funding is boosting business and strengthening our economy.
“Our priority is to make sure Wales does not lose a penny of the EU funds we currently receive as a result of the UK’s exit from the EU. We are in ongoing negotiations with the UK Government for a full guarantee to ensure Wales has access to all the funding it has been allocated so businesses, people and communities continue to receive the support they need.”
Latest News from
Council tax payers in Wales continue to pay less than England24/03/2017 14:05:00
New figures out yesterday reveal that council tax in Wales remains lower than in England.
Welsh Government confirms commitment to £1bn of innovative investment in infrastructure24/03/2017 13:05:00
The Welsh Government has confirmed its commitment to delivering £1bn of capital infrastructure investment through innovative finance using the new Mutual Investment Model (MIM).
Supporting People budget protected24/03/2017 12:05:00
The Supporting People budget for local authorities in 2017-18 has been protected at the same level as this year.
Education Secretary praises Newport school’s role in developing Wales’ digital curriculum24/03/2017 11:05:00
Education Secretary Kirsty Williams has praised St Julian’s Primary for its part in developing how digital skills will be used in the curriculum throughout Wales, while visiting the school yesterday