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Painting windows at Antur Waunfawr who received funding to invest in their centre through our Social Business Growth Fund (SBGF). SBGF is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund

Time to revisit your growth plans?

Published: 20/08/21 | Categories: Author: Alun Jones

Did you have to put your plans on hold because of the pandemic? Alun Jones, Head of Social Investment Cymru at WCVA, explains why now is the time to look at growth and income generation.

I’ve been in the privileged position of helping some fantastic organisations make use of investment to expand their work and increase their social impact.

Many voluntary organisations in Wales would have been ready to grow their activities before COVID-19 came along, but have understandably had to put those plans on the back-burner.

We’re now at an important moment of planetary alignment. On one hand Coronavirus restrictions are easing in Wales, and on the other time is running out to take advantage of financial support for growth and income generation through European Funding.

THE SOCIAL BUSINESS GROWTH FUND

If you have an idea to expand your work that would create jobs while helping you increase your social impact, the Social Business Growth Fund (SBGF) could really help you get going.

SBGF can provide organisations working in eligible regions of Wales with investment of up to £150,000. The support is a mix of grant and repayable assistance (with 0% interest), and the more you overachieve in creating jobs the less that needs to be repaid.

Match funding is required, and some of you might be wary of the admin that comes with European Funding, but our Social Investment Cymru team is here to help, and we’re encouraging organisations to pick up the phone to discuss ideas and talk about how the fund could work for you.

WHICH AREAS OF WALES ARE ELIGIBLE?

While all available funds have been allocated to the very eastern and southern edges of Wales, those operating in the remaining counties can still apply.

There is funding available for Blaenau Gwent, Bridgend, Caerphilly, Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Conwy, Denbighshire, Gwynedd, Isle of Anglesey, Merthyr Tydfil, Neath Port Talbot, Pembrokeshire, Rhondda Cynon Taf, Swansea, and Torfaen.

Map showing how the Active Inclusion fund divides Wales into two, with the areas of East Wales (Flintshire, Wrexham, Powys, Monmouthshire, Newport, Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan) and West Wales and the Valleys (the remaining counties)

 

Map showing which regions can still benefit from SBGF. Funding is available for those operating in the ‘West Wales and the Valleys’ counties.

THE CLOCK IS TICKING

There is still EU funding available to support growth and income generation for voluntary organisations in many regions of Wales, but time is running out to apply. If you’re thinking about taking your mission-driven business to the next level, please get in touch, at the very least we should be able to highlight your options.

BE PART OF THE LEGACY

In Wales we’ve been net beneficiaries of European Funding, and since SBGF opened we’ve seen so many inspiring growth projects from all sorts of mission-driven organisations, and we’re really keen for those from eligible regions to take advantage of the opportunity while it’s still available.

Although the opportunity presented by EU funds is coming to a close, what comes next in Wales is still in question, and we want to continue to show funders the invaluable impact voluntary organisations have on our society and why this investment is so important.

GET IN TOUCH TO DISCUSS YOUR IDEAS

To find out more and discuss your ideas please get in contact with the Social Investment Cymru team on 0300 111 0124 or by emailing sic@wcva.cymru. If you’d like to arrange a call at a certain time you can book a one-to-one here. You can also find information on our Social Business Growth Fund page.

The Social Business Growth Fund (SBGF) supports social businesses in Wales financially to enable them to grow and create job opportunities. SBGF is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund and Welsh Government and is part of the suite of investments administered by Social Investment Cymru.