Our 'UK regional and national spotlight' campaign focuses on ‘Place’, spotlighting the power of social investment from each and every corner of the UK. Today, we’re spotlighting the Wales...
Wales, a land proud of its cultural heritage and renowned for rugged beauty, is equally noteworthy for its progressive approach to fostering positive social change.
With over 600 castles, Wales boasts more castles per square mile than any other country in the world and it's also home to Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch - which holds the record for the longest place name in Europe.
In this blog, we focus on all of the content we have from Wales to spotlight and celebrate all the fantastic social investment activity that we have captured there over the years.
Wales: Social Investment in Action
One of the best ways to learn more about social investment and how it can be used is through examples. Good Finance has 115 case studies and counting – here we spotlight just five recent stories from Wales...
Egni Co-operative was established in 2013 and provides rooftop solar on schools, businesses and community buildings. It has installed solar panels on almost 100 sites across Wales. Discover the role played by Community Shares in helping them to tackle the cost of living and climate crisis for the communities they serve via the full case study.
Prom Ally offers the free loan of prom dresses and suits to school children, sixth form students and college students who otherwise couldn't afford one. All outfits are used and either purchased from charity shops or donated directly. Prom Ally has helped hundreds of girls since it began and has recently opened up to boys too offering suits in addition to the dresses. Read more about their experiences with social investment.
Tafarn Yr Heliwr
Tafarn Yr Heliwr is a Community-Benefit Society based in Nefyn, Gwynedd, Wales and was established in order to raise money and re-open the village pub as a not-for-profit community-owned business. Read more about how the local community rallied behind the pub to take it into community ownership and re-open after 9 years of closed doors.
Gofal is a leading Welsh mental health charity providing a wide range of services to people with mental health problems, supporting their independence, recovery, health and wellbeing. Supporting over 3,000 people a year, here’s how they harnessed the power of social investment to purchase share capital of a commercial cleaning company. Read their story.
Câr-Y-Môr is a community owned business using regenerative ocean farming, food security and sustainable job creation to improve both the coastal environment and the wellbeing of the local community. Learn more about their experiences with social investment thus far, via the full case study.
Check out our Case Study Mapper and filter by Wales to view all of the case studies we have from organisations that have harnessed the power of social investment in the country.
Have you got a social investment story to tell? We’d love to spotlight more examples of social investment in action in Wales to support organisations that are currently exploring repayable finance. You can submit your experiences online here, alternatively email firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange content collection.
Wales: Must-Reads and Watch/Listen on Demand
As well as examples of social investment in action in Wales, we also have some blogs, events and podcasts featuring Welsh investees who have shared their experiences of social investment with others. Here's our pick from Wales...
Home Nations Taking Centre Stage
In celebration of International Women's Day 2020, this blog spotlights incredible women-led social enterprises across the Home Nations, including Northern Ireland. Learn about their inspiring journeys, the challenges they've overcome, and how they're shaping a more equitable future through social entrepreneurship.
In this blog, Kelly Davies, one of the Founders of The Goodwash Company in Wales told us…
“There are lots of options available to us, particularly through the WCVA Social Investment Cymru team. Increasingly I get frustrated by people who say there aren't. I believe this due to a lack of understanding. Social investment is not a grant, it has to be repaid but with the right business case, there is plenty of money out there for social businesses wanting to grow”.
Discover her key learnings via the full blog post.
Outdoor Places and Liveable Places
This webinar is for anyone looking to understand more about social investment and the options available to diversify your income.
During the session, we heard from Holly Cross, Director and Project Development Manager at Cwm Arian Renewable Energy Ltd. CARE, standing for Cam Arian Renewable Energy, started its journey in 2011. After 13 years of hard work of campaigning and fundraising, CARE successfully put up a 700kW wind turbine to generate clean energy. This wind turbine is community owned.
Watch the session on demand to understand more about their experiences with social investment...
Want to listen on the move? You can also hear from Holly via our Podcast channel to tune in via a streaming platform of your choice! Check out the podcast.
Spotlight on: Alun Jones, Social Investment Cymru
Alun Jones is Head of Social Investment at Social Investment Cymru, and has supported us to tell many of the examples of social investment in action in Wales featured above, including Câr-Y-Môr and Prom Ally CIC.
We were delighted to catch-up with him on key reflections from 2023, along with a top tip for an organisation at the start of their journey with social investment and some thoughts on the social investment landscape in Wales.
What has been your highlight for 2023?
Getting involved in Câr Y Mȏr – it’s different as well as being exciting and is addressing so many challenges facing the local and wider community. A loan of £425,000 is significantly over our average loan size and amount, which just proves the worth of the collaborative working we’d been doing as SIB’s delivery partner for RLF in Wales. That means there is local and on the ground knowledge delivery of that particular funding here in Wales.
What would be your #1 tip for a charity or social enterprise at the very start of their journey with social investment?
Engage your potential social investor in the excitement of what you’re doing. Get them as excited as you are! Everything else follows in behind – that’s when it becomes ‘how’ we’re going to do this not ‘if’!
Is there anything specific about the social investment space in Wales you’d like to mention?
Wales tends to be a collection of relatively smaller social businesses. It was St David who exhorted us to ‘Do the small things well’ and that’s what characterises Welsh social business and Welsh social investment – we don’t generally see the large scale organisations that they see in some other parts of the UK.
Our business reflects that of the sector here – lots of really dedicated, local people addressing local need. We’re doing our best to get the right funding to them to enable them to do it to the best of their ability. It’s a lot of fun!
That’s a wrap for today, and for the campaign! We have loved celebrating the social investment space in Wales and look forward to telling even more stories from this fantastic nation in 2024 and beyond.
If we’ve missed anything or you’d like to chat to us about featuring more content based in Wales on Good Finance, please email email@example.com and we’d love to chat further!
Have a browse off various regional and national spotlight's across the UK!
- Spotlight series: East Midlands
- Spotlight series: South West
- Spotlight series: South East
- Spotlight series: Scotland
- Spotlight series: Yorkshire and Humber
- Spotlight series: East England
- Spotlight series: North East
- Spotlight series: Northern Ireland
- Spotlight series: North West