Social Saturday, a day to shout about social enterprises, returns on 14 October and social businesses in Wales are being urged to get involved in the celebrations.
Last year social enterprises from all over Wales took part, but more are being encouraged to join in the fun by holding a special Social Saturday event, offering on the day discounts or simply showing their support via social media so that consumers can find out more about the sector and the benefits of buying social.
Social enterprises differ from other businesses as the profits they make are reinvested to support a social or environmental cause, from creating local job and training opportunities to delivering renewable energy solutions and preventing tonnes of waste going to landfill. The sector is worth £2.37bn to the Welsh economy and employs over 40,000 people with the help of 50,000 plus volunteers.
Comedian Rhod Gilbert is backing the campaign and said: “Social Saturday is back and if you are a social business then this is your time to shout about what you do and the impact you make to your community. It doesn’t take a lot to get involved – I’m told there are lots of ideas on the Social Saturday Wales website – so join in the celebrations on Saturday 14 October to get your tills ringing and more people buying social.”
Erica Walker from iSmooth Community Café took part in a last year’s campaign and said: “Social Saturday was a great day for us, it gave us a chance to think about how we promote ourselves and we attracted new customers as a result. It really raises awareness of the great work social enterprises do across Wales for the community and beyond, we were thrilled to be part of it. We’re planning already for this year.”
Social Saturday was started in Wales in 2013 by the Wales Co-operative Centre and has gone on to become a UK wide initiative. In Wales, it is now run by the Centre through the Social Business Wales project, with funding from Welsh Government and the European Regional Development Fund.
Nicola Mehegan, project manager at Social Business Wales said: “There are over 1,600 social businesses in Wales, so if every one of them came together on Social Saturday, we can make a massive impact on the understanding of the brilliant work they do, not only for the economy but for their local communities.
“Getting involved in Social Saturday doesn’t have to be a massive strain on resource, we want it to make it as easy as possible for social businesses of all sizes to take part in any way they can, with lots of tips and useful tools on the website.
“You don’t have to be a social business to support the campaign either. Customers can enjoy a day out at their local social eateries, shops, cinemas, leisure facilities and more. Or if you’re a business supplied by a social enterprise why not make it known how great working with them is?”
For more information on how to get involved, support Social Saturday on Saturday 14 October and to find a social business near you, visit socialsaturday.wales.