Social Business Wales in the spotlight

Feb 28, 2022

The ERDF funded Social Business Wales have hit a major milestone in the success of their New Start programme where 200 social enterprises which have been incorporated since the programme began back in November 2019.   The story has captured the attention of the media in Wales where is featured in Business News Wales, the Co-op News and the Western Mail, whose article you can read by clicking on the image above.

Read the Business News Wales article.

Read the Co-op new article.

Read the full press release.

Case study – Your North Veteran Support CIC, Blaenau Gwent

YourNorth Veteran Support CIC provide effective mental wellbeing training, support & signposting for the veteran community to improve wellbeing, reduce loneliness, improve quality of life and establish an understanding community that knows how to support.

There has been a steady rise in veteran referrals to charities such as SSAFA, Change Step and more over the last 5 years – SSAFA (Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Family Association) alone have seen referrals up by 21%. The veteran community are resilient and rarely do they ask for help. This mindset, along with difficulties fitting in to their communities, is detrimental to their mental wellbeing and impacts negatively on relationships.

YourNorth Veteran Support CIC aim is to educate the community to empower and support; changing the culture from suffering in silence, to open and confident.  Two of the directors are veterans. They both left the Royal Air Force in March 2020, after serving a combined 41 years of service between them. They both have so much experience in the veteran arena and understand and empathise with the beneficiaries on a very personal level.

YourNorth Veteran Support CIC have been a client of New Start since September 2020, and in the past year they have grown from the seed of an idea to an incorporated CIC actively delivering workshops and accessing grants. They required support initially with legal structures, incorporation, engagement of Directors and Directors training. They have more recently received support to prepare and submit an application to SE Assist, pitch their delivery model to a group of investors and win an award of £10,000 grant and £20,000 loan investment.

The New Start team assisted with the preparation of the SE Assist Grant / loan application. Supported the preparation of financial forecasts and guided them through the pitching process.  The New Start team ensured that the business had in place all the required policies, processes and assessed their financial risk, planning mitigation.

Much of the support came down to their lack of confidence and experience of the world of Social Business. They were guided through the process of applying for a grant and loan investment, the ‘pitch’ to a panel of investors, as well as having their finances, business plan and proposal questioned by the investment team.

The positive impact on the client was massive.  They were successful in their application, and they expressed how ‘nerve wracking’ the whole process had been.

They grew as a social business, going on to be successful in applying to Blaenau Gwent Community Choice Community Voice, and a further application to the Postcode Community Trust.   One of the directors attended the BG Start Something Good event as a guest speaker to talk about their experience of setting up a Social Business and the support they had received.