No more cash for social enterprise group

No more cash for social enterprise group
Insider Media Ltd

The Welsh Government is to pull out of funding the Welsh Social Enterprise Coalition because it found the group had not given value for money. The coalition, which represents and supports businesses which have a social purpose, may be made part of another organisation.

A Welsh Government spokesman last night said that a value for money review of the Welsh Social Enterprise Coalition concluded that "it has not provided the value for money that could be reasonably expected considering the funding and support it received between 2009/10 and 2012/13".

The spokesman said: "In reviewing the performance of the WSEC against agreed targets and indicators, the report notes that although progress had been made in a number of areas, most notably increasing membership, overall the activities delivered to date have fallen below expectation. No final decisions have yet been made on the amended functions or the new arm of a host organisation."

In a separate statement, the Welsh Government said: “The minister for business, enterprise, technology and science has agreed to cease funding to the Welsh Social Enterprise Coalition beyond the current 2012/13 commitment; to continue to demonstrate support for the social enterprise sector through approval of an updated role and principles by housing the amended function within a new arm of a host organisation; and to approve and issue a letter informing assembly members of the decision.”

The coalition was launched in 2010 with offices in Cardiff and Conwy after the Social Enterprise Action Plan for Wales said there was a need for a “representative voice for Welsh social enterprise”.

A steering group was set up with support from the then Welsh Assembly Government, which provided start-up funding.

The coalition now lists more than 220 member organisations on its website. It is headed by John Bennett, former chief executive of the Cardiff-based social enterprise Pack-IT.

Its acting chair is Bev Pold of Chwarae Teg, the agency which aims to improve women’s standing in the economy.
The coalition describes itself as a “membership-led organisation” and “the collective voice for Welsh social enterprise”. It cites Welsh Government research which suggests that there are about 3,000 organisations doing social enterprise activities in Wales, with a combined turnover of £2.2bn and employing 50,000 full and part-time staff.