Support Organisations

The Wales Co-operative Centre

The Wales Co-operative Centre is a national agency supporting community regeneration, economic development and social justice through co-operative solutions. Their advisors work across Wales, helping communities and employees to form businesses which value people and the environment as much as profit.

Community Matters

It is a national provider of training and consultancy for the community sector, they utilise their expertise in developing technical information and model documents and policies to deliver tailored, flexible solutions and support around effective asset management.

Their advice service provides expert guidance on all aspects of managing a charity, its premises, activities, and social and contractual relationships. They also offer free legal surgeries.

Social Firms Wales

Social Firms Wales is the Welsh arm of Social Firms UK the National Support Agency for Social Firm development.

A Social Firm is a business set up specifically to create employment and to offer a solution to social exclusion and economic inactivity through the labour market integration of disadvantaged groups.

They are a specialist agency for:

  • Social Firms Development
  • Feasibility Studies to Business Planning
  • Separation Mechanisms
  • Identifying commercial opportunity to grow commercial income for sustainable social change, supporting social objectives
  • Facilitate training for emerging Social Firm managers
  • Offer opportunities for networking and inter-trading

Business in the Community

Business in the Community mobilises business for good. Its members commit to improve the way in which they manage their resources, be that their people or the planet.

Welsh Social enterprise coalition

The Welsh Social Enterprise Coalition represents a wide range of social enterprises, regional and national support networks and other related organisations. They believe that social enterprise is the right way to do business and works with their members to:

  • Promote the benefits of social enterprise
  • Promote best practice amongst social enterprises. A key part of the Coalition's work is to enable social enterprises to share know how, network and do business.
  • Inform the policy agenda working with key decision makers.
  • They influence politicians across the political spectrum, generating support for social enterprise.
  • Undertake research to expand the social enterprise evidence base.

Collaborative Communities

Collaborative Communities provides business support to third sector organisations and social enterprises across south west Wales. Local officers based in Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire, Swansea and Neath Port Talbot work with voluntary organisations to help them become financially sustainable. Collaborative Communities is part-funded by the EU’s Convergence European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Assembly Government.
Locally based development officers will provide support in a wide range of areas
such as:

  • Developing business plans
  • Legal structures
  • Trading – moving away from grant dependency
  • Market research and marketing plans
  • Governance
  • HR and good employment practice
  • Assistance with premises
  • Feasibility studies
  • Financial management and budgeting
  • Fundraising options and strategy
  • Environmental sustainability
  • Equal opportunities
  • Tender readiness and procurement

Flexible Support for Business

Flexible Support for Business’s purpose is to help all businesses (including social enterprises) in Wales access the advice and support they need to reach their potential. This may include such areas as starting, growing or funding your social enterprise or tendering support for contracts. Advice and support is given through a single website, national phone number and face to face through a network of regional centres. Services provided by the regional centres include:

  • Free general business advice
  • Free HR/ equality and diversity advice
  • Free environmental management advice

County Voluntary Councils

The key role of the county voluntary councils (CVCs) is to provide advice and information to local voluntary and community organisations. They support voluntary action by supporting volunteering, advising on good practice, and providing information on funding sources along with a wide range of other issues. The following factsheet provides contact details for CVCs in different local authorities in Wales:


Started in 2010 as a result of a merger between the British Association of Settlements and Social Action Centre Locality has a wide range of relevant resources to help community enterprises and asset development projects.

Localities projects include initiatives like the asset transfer unit, community sector trading and meanwhile space,,,,,

Plunkett Foundation

The Plunkett Foundation supports rural communities wanting to set up and run a community-owned shop and other rural social enterprises. They provide practical assistance through their website, a network of community retail advisers, a national office and various publications.

Centre for Alternative Technology

The centre runs a free information service, answering enquiries on a massive range of topics by phone, letter or email, five days a week. For bigger projects, there is also a consultancy service.

Cynnal Cymru - Sustain Wales

An independent, not-for-profit organisation that promotes sustainable development and provides practical information to help people live sustainably. Cynnal Cymru plays a key role in communicating and promoting sustainable development across Wales.
You can contact Cynnal Cymru – Sustain Wales about how you can join their
network by becoming a Member or, if you’re an organisation, a Network Partner.

Energy Saving Trust

The Energy Saving Trust is an independent, UK-based organisation focused on promoting action by individuals that leads to the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions – a key contributor to man-made climate change. It is the source of free advice and information for people across the UK looking to save energy, travel sustainably and generate renewable energy.

Cylch Wales Community Recycling Network

Cylch aims to promote sustainable resource management through education and
practical action and supportgn a national network of community recycling organisations. Cylch provides a full range of services particularly for Third Sector and SME’s to assist with procurement, business development and partnership working and the adoption of sustainable practices, including the development of social enterprise.

Environment Wales

Environment Wales support third sector projects that improve and protect the environment of Wales through voluntary action including grants to support start-up costs for very new groups; training needs, projects, pre-projects, and staff costs for more established groups.


Pilotlight is committed to achieving positive social change through promoting the effectiveness and efficiency of small innovative community and social enterprises that are working to reduce disadvantage. They provide expertise of business and industry professionals to help charities strengthen their management, governance, leadership and sustainability through the development of strategies, systems, structures and skills.

 Energy Saving Trust - Energy Efficiency Guide for Community Projects

This is a comprehensive guide for all members of voluntary and community groups. It provides details of the benefits of community energy efficiency projects and how to undertake a project.