Welsh enterprise moves

The Welsh Assembly has approved a series of measures to encourage social enterprise in the country.

The strategy, laid out in The Third Dimension - a Strategic Action Plan for the Voluntary Sector Scheme, includes plans for a detailed mapping exercise to identify the scale of social entrepreneurship in Wales and the formation of a body to act as a representative voice for Welsh enterprises.

The assembly has also highlighted the need for clarification about how each of its departments will work with the sector to promote enterprise, as well as for a formal system of specialist business support groups for social enterprise.

The mapping is scheduled to begin in March 2008 and to be completed within a year. The representative body should be up and running by September 2008.

These points are broadly similar to issues raised in the Office of the Third Sector's Social Enterprise Action Plan, which was published in November 2006.

Ceri Jones, senior policy officer at the London- based Social Enterprise Coalition, said: "We are pleased to see a commitment to addressing some of the barriers social enterprises face, including a serious look at levelling the playing field of public sector procurement.

"In addition, we are encouraged by the Welsh Assembly Government's desire for further knowledge about the scale and impact of social enterprise in Wales, and the implications this could have on the growth and development of the movement."

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