News & Events Archives

Creating Enterprise is highly commended

Posted on: November 28, 2017

Creating Enterprise received a commendation at the 2017 UK Social Enterprise Awards in London for the work it does helping tenants into employment.

On the back of two wins at the Social Business Wales Awards, including Social Enterprise of the Year, the UK-wide awards were a chance for national recognition. Creating Enterprise were ‘highly commended’ in the Jobs, Education and Training category.

Sharon Jones, Business & Partnership Director said:

It was fantastic to receive the commendation from the judges – there were so many inspiring social enterprises at the awards and we didn’t expect anything. For a small enterprise which has only been going for three years, this is a great achievement. I am so proud of all the team and the tenants who have been part of this journey.

UK social enterprise awards 2017 Logo


Who Knew?

Posted on: November 15, 2017

Creating Enterprise is supporting Social Enterprise Day on 16th November, showing the public what makes social enterprises different and the impact of our work.

Look out for our #WhoKnew signs on Facebook, Twitter and Linked In!

Who Knew?

Social enterprise will create 10 new jobs after landing £5m contract

Posted on: October 19, 2017

An award winning social enterprise has landed a £5 million maintenance contract that will create at least 10 new jobs.

Creating Enterprise, which became the first organisation of its kind in Wales when it began operating two and a half years ago, will be looking after 4,000 properties managed by housing association Cartrefi Conwy.

The organisation, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Cartrefi Conwy, runs a ground-breaking employment academy which has already helped 14 unemployed tenants find full-time jobs. In addition, it’s also created 38 permanent jobs and provided training for almost 200 out-of-work tenants.

News about the new contract came hot on the heels of a double boost at the Wales regional finals of the Social Business Awards held in Llangollen. Creating Enterprise was named Social Enterprise of the Year and also won the Employment, Training and Education Award and will now go on to the UK finals in London in November.

Business and partnership director Sharon Jones said:

It means a great deal as only 12 months ago at the same awards Creating Enterprise won the One to Watch award so it really shows how much we have grown in such a short time. Winning these awards is a fantastic achievement for the whole team who have pulled together and showed remarkable dedication.

According to Sharon Jones, all profits are reinvested for the good of the organisation. Even before the new contract, the annual turnover had risen to £4.5 million a year with work also being done for Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board and Conwy County Borough Council.

The aim of the academy is to train and help long-term unemployed tenants move back into work. She added:

We have a 100 per cent successful outcome so far with the 14 tenants we have taken on now in full-time employment. Unemployed tenants join the scheme as employees on a 12-month contract and are given mentor support and training. We then get in touch with potential employers and help our tenants apply for jobs. It’s about breaking the cycle and helping long-term unemployed tenants get back into work. It’s about preparing people for work and showing them they are valued.

The new contract with Cartrefi Conwy means we are increasing our property maintenance team by five and I estimate that within the next 12 months we will create a further 10 posts, some of which will be filled by tenants. Building on our existing relationship with Cartrefi Conwy, we will be carrying out all planned maintenance work including gas servicing and boiler installations, groundworks, painting and decorating, property clearance and cleaning, garden maintenance and providing a handyman service.

Stephen Broderick celebrates his training achievements

Stephen Broderick celebrates his training achievements

Tenant Stephen Broderick, 54, is working on a one-year contract with the employment academy. He said:

I’ve been unemployed for years. I did work in kitchens as a porter and doing washing up, that sort of thing. I’ve tried to look for work but didn’t have much luck. I started with Creating Enterprise in April this year and it’s been brilliant. I love going to work and I’ve never been late, not once.

I’ve done tons of training courses everything from good timekeeping, health and safety, hygiene, asbestos handling, using ladders safely and others. I’ve passed them all.

Mentor Sioned Williams said:

The first six months is about getting qualifications through training whether it’s using ladders safely or creating a good CV. It’s also about getting into the routine of going to work when it can be challenging and seeing that working is a normal way of life.

Stephen has done really well. He appreciates the training and support. He’s never been late and applied himself 100 per cent to the work he’s been asked to do. I’m very confident he has a bright work future and there is no reason why he can’t find valued employment.

Wales Social Business of the Year Winner

Posted on: October 17, 2017

We were absolutely delighted to have Creating Enterprise’s work acknowledged at the Social Business Wales Awards in Denbighshire, winning two awards.

As well as being selected as the winner of the Wales Education, Training and Jobs Social Enterprise,  the judges awarded Creating Enterprise with the title of Wales Social Enterprise of the Year.

Sharon Jones, Business and Partnership Director, said:

We were so pleased to win the Education, Training and Jobs category, and then being awarded Wales Social Enterprise of the Year was an amazing surprise! The awards are for all the team, every volunteer and trainee that has been a part of the Creating Enterprise story.

As Welsh winners, Creating Enterprise has now been shortlisted for the UK Social Business Awards.

Social Business Wales 2017. Cabinet Secretary Ken Skates and Creating Enterprise winners Andrew Bowden, Sharon Jones, Adrian Johnson and Jim Illidge.

Social Business Wales 2017. Cabinet Secretary Ken Skates and Creating Enterprise winners Andrew Bowden, Sharon Jones, Adrian Johnson and Jim Illidge.


Social Enterprise Shortlister

Posted on: August 23, 2017

Abergele-based Creating Enterprise has been shortlisted for the Social Business Wales Awards 2017 in the Education, Training and Jobs Social Enterprise category.

Creating Enterprise provides commercial property development and maintenance services, reinvesting their profits into training, volunteering and creating jobs. A subsidiary of Cartrefi Conwy housing association, their focus is on helping Cartrefi Conwy tenants into work.

Sharon Jones, Business and Partnership Director at Creating Enterprise, said:

“We’re very pleased to have our social business recognised in this way.”

“Of the 3900 households in Cartrefi Conwy properties, 1100 people are of working age but unemployed. Our Employment Academy offers 12 or 18 month paid contracts to tenants, who receive on-the-job training and formal qualifications. There are also opportunities for volunteering and training, and we give job search support helping with CVs, applications and interview skills.”

Seven tenants have so far completed the Employment Academy and all of them have moved on to permanent, full-time employment. A further 6 tenants are currently employed with the academy and 7 office-based volunteers are learning new skills.

Adrian Johnson, Managing Director of Commercial Services at Cartrefi Conwy, added:

“It’s important for social enterprises to be commercially viable,” “We aim to be the social contractor of choice, and we’ll only achieve that by providing the highest standards of workmanship, value for money and customer service. We get between 96% and 100% satisfaction ratings from our clients on our monthly surveys, so we know this approach is working.”

Derek Walker, Chief Executive at the Wales Co-operative Centre, the national body for social businesses and co-operatives, said:

“Every year it seems to get more difficult to short list for these awards, the quality of the applications are a testament to all the good work that these businesses are doing. We know the social business sector is growing, our recent mapping exercise showed that the sector now employs approximately 40,800 people and is worth an estimated £2.37bn to the Welsh economy. These businesses are delivering vital services and creating jobs and economic opportunities across Wales.”

“Looking at the applications there are some really inspirational businesses out there with real growth potential. We wish all our finalists the best of luck and look forward to seeing them at the awards.”

“We are delighted to have been shortlisted for this award,” said Sharon Jones. “The team are excited about attending the awards evening and meeting other inspiring social enterprises.”

The awards ceremony will take place in October at Llangollen Pavilion in Denbighshire.



Our Business & Partnership Director Shortlisted for a National Leadership Award

Posted on: August 17, 2017

The 2017 Leading Wales Awards (Wales’ long-established and only dedicated leadership awards) in association with The Institute of Leadership and Management have announced this year’s short list.

The award winning alumni include Laura Tenison MBE, Jo Jo Maman Bébé, Mario Kreft MBE, CEO of Pendine Park Care Homes, Kelly Davies, Managing Director of Vi-Ability, and Dr Sabine Maguire of Sparkle, South Gwent Children’s Foundation.

She has been nominated in the Leadership in Social Enterprise category for her leadership role and is one of 3 finalists in the category.

Barbara Chidgey, Chair of the Leading Wales Awards, said; “The shortlist reflects a very high standard and diverse range of leaders working in all sectors across Wales; our panels of judges will have a tough job on judging day on July 14th. On behalf of the Leading Wales Awards Consortium I would like to thank everyone who made the effort to nominate and share such fantastic examples of “Leaders in Wales”. It’s set to be another very exciting year for Wales’ only leadership awards.”

The winners will be announced at the lunchtime awards ceremony, which will take place at the Hilton Cardiff on Thursday 21st September. For more information please visit


Social Enterprise Puts The Finishing Touches To Local Dining Experience

Posted on: June 2, 2017
Creating Enterprise decorators at Dylans - Jordan Davies (l), Ben Crabtree (c), Craig Palmer (r)

Painters and decorators from local social enterprise Creating Enterprise have stepped in to help the new Dylan’s venue in Llandudno open on time.

Dylan’s have taken on the much-loved Washington Hotel on Llandudno seafront, transforming the Grade II listed building into a destination restaurant and cocktail bar. With the deadline for the official opening looming, Dylan’s asked Creating Enterprise to paint inside and out this wonderful landmark building.

The three painters and decorators are all local, and include Jordan Davies, who is currently going through Creating Enterprise’s Employment Academy for Cartrefi Conwy tenants. Craig Palmer recently completed his Academy training and was taken on as a fulltime painter and decorator by Creating Enterprise earlier this month.

“The Employment Academy scheme is exclusively for Cartrefi Conwy tenants who want to get into work,” explains Sharon Jones, Business and Partnership Director. “We find out what area of work interests them, and they get training and qualifications along with a living wage.”

As well as providing services to Cartrefi Conwy, Creating Enterprise also works with private and public sector clients, such as Dylan’s. “We are aiming to be the social contractor of choice,” says Sharon. “We supply skilled tradespeople at a competitive rate, so clients get a professional service whilst supporting local people into work.”

David Evans, Director at Dylan’s, said “We are pleased that Creating Enterprise were able to come to our aid at the last minute. Their assistance has been invaluable and we’ll hopefully now be able to hit our deadline of 25th May opening date.”

Conwy Stepping Stones Project

Posted on: April 3, 2017
Conwy Stepping Stones project picture

The Stepping Stones project goes live this spring after being kick-started by a cash boost of almost £250,000 from the Big Lottery Fund.

It will provide high quality volunteering opportunities to help set 30 people a year until 2021 on the road to permanent employment.

The scheme is being masterminded by Abergele based Creating Enterprise, a venture set up by the Cartrefi Conwy housing association to benefit its tenants which has already created 40 jobs and founded a unique Employment Academy.

Stepping Stones, which in itself will mean three new jobs to help run it, will give all eligible Cartrefi Conwy tenants the chance to hone their work skills as volunteers before having the option to join the academy on a 12-month paid contract when they will get training, support and mentoring equipping them for permanent work.

One of the academy’s early success stories is young Rhos on Sea man Owain Jones who has just plugged into a promising new career with a major electrical retailer.

Sharon Jones, the Business and Partnership Director of Creating Enterprise, said: “We’re delighted to have been awarded £245,295 from the Big Lottery Fund for this four-year project which is unique in North Wales for the way it will operate.

“The project aims to support social housing tenants into volunteering and employment within their own communities in order to reduce isolation.

“Tenants will be able to take the first step towards employment through volunteering with the Employment Academy in a work stream suitable to their needs, which could be anything from administration and community involvement to communications.

“There will be volunteering opportunities with both Creating Enterprise and Cartrefi Conwy which can be for periods from half a day to three or four days a week.

“Whilst volunteering they will gain both practical and employability skills. Once they feel ready to take the next step they will be given the opportunity to move on to paid employment through the Employment Academy for up to one year when a vacancy becomes available.

“During these 12 months they will be supported to find employment with local companies or to move on to further education.”

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