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Academy leads Social Enterprise Revolution

Posted on: December 17, 2019

An innovative new organisation is leading a business revolution that can help communities across Wales and empower local people to realise their own potential.

That was the message of Lee Waters AM, the Welsh Government’s Deputy Minister for the Economy and Transport, at the official launch of the Social Enterprise Academy.

Creating Enterprise, a subsidiary of housing association Cartrefi Conwy, has secured the licence to set up innovative Wales-wide learning and development programmes for companies, social enterprises and public bodies.

The Social Enterprise Academy are using the model trailblazed in Scotland that’s now been replicated across 14 countries as far afield as Canada, China and Australia and Africa.

Creating Enterprise, based in Mochdre, near Colwyn Bay, which was recently named as one of Wales’ fastest growing companies at the Fast Growth 50 awards, is working in partnership with the Wales Co-operative Centre who are delivering the programmes in South Wales.

It is a key part of the Creating Enterprise’s ambitious growth plan and will also be using its profits for the benefit of Cartrefi Conwy tenants.

Mr Waters described the Academy as a “catalyst for change” which would hopefully replicate the success of the concept in Scotland.

He was pleased to hear that 65 per cent of the 6.000 social enterprises in Scotland were led by women, employed 88,000 people and pumped more than £6 billion into the economy.

The Deputy Minister said: “I think the Academy has huge potential and I have a lot of faith that it will be a success.

“It has the potential to be a very powerful economic development tool. Social enterprises have already generated billions of pounds in Wales and with the direction and vision offered by the Academy can influence the sector in parts of the economy where the private sector is not flourishing.

“Social enterprises have a key part to play in keeping wealth within our communities, and the important thing about them is that it’s still an enterprise. It’s still about making money and running successful businesses, what defines them is what they do with the profit, and the values that you embody.

“The Academy is not going to reverse every economic problem that we’ve ever had. But it has the power to empower people to help people to realise their own potential, because they’re acting in the spirit of common purpose. It is about being part of a business, but it’s also unleashing a wider potential, and I think that just on a human level is a very powerful idea.

“In addition to the Academy, I’m also very pleased that we recently announced the approved projects for the £4.5 million Foundational Fund challenge fund. There are a number of very good projects in North Wales approved but what is also encouraging is that over 20 of the 52 projects approved are social enterprises.”

 According to Sharon Jones, the Business and Partnership Director, there had been “overwhelming” interest in the Academy and courses were already being delivered in all the six counties of North Wales.

She said: “I would like to thank Welsh Government who have provided us with start-up funding over the next three years to enable the Academy to be brought here to Wales and also on a more local level for Conwy County Borough Council who have awarded us a bursary fund over the next 12 months to enable third sector and social enterprise organisations based here in Conwy to access Academy programmes at a reduced rate.

“We have a three year business plan and the really great thing about the Academy is that it is open to everyone.

“It has programmes aimed at Third Sector and social enterprises, through the enterprise and social impact strands.

“It also has programmes aimed at private sector businesses through the leadership and learning strands which are also relevant to social enterprises and it has unique programmes written just for the public sector called enterprising leadership to look at how they can be more enterprising in delivering public services.

“We have 11 facilitators who are leaders in social enterprise and in the business community across North Wales,

“They have a huge amount of experience and are inspiring and transformational leaders.

“It’s about people who have walked the walk sharing insights into their success as business leaders.”

Among the facilitators in North Wales is Menna Jones, the chief executive of the Antur Waunfawr, who was worked at the social enterprise in Waunfawr, near Caernarfon, for 25 years.

She said:  “I have had to learn something new, if not every day then every week, because the range of skills we need to be social entrepreneurs means we need take in so much information.”

It was a sentiment endorsed by Jocelle Lovell from the Wales Co-operative Centre,

She said: “We’ve identified just over 2,000 social enterprises across Wales who contribute over £3 billion to the economy.

“I think quite often people don’t think of social enterprises as being profitable and sometimes they think not for profit isn’t a good thing. We all need a profit to be sustainable.

“It’s what you do with that profit that really makes the difference – 76 per cent of social enterprise pay the living wage and over 57 per cent say that their workforce live within 10 miles of where they go to work.

“We have local jobs for local people, keeping that money local and recycling it in those communities.”

Nazia Ali, who was there representing the original Social Enterprise Academy in Scotland, said: “The collaboration that takes place at community level has blown me away and to create lasting change we all have to come together.

“Social enterprise is a vehicle that can create lasting change. Our ethos is that we are learning to change the world.”




Creating Enterprise named Fastest Growing Construction company in Wales

Posted on: November 19, 2019

We’re absolutely delighted to  have been named Fastest Growing Company in North Wales, Fastest Growing Construction Company in Wales and the third Fastest Growing Company in Wales!

Adrian Johnson, Managing Director Commercial Services said “Creating Enterprises’ growth over the last 4 years has been fantastic and now to  be recognised by winning 2 prestigious awards by Fast Growth 50 really does show how far we have come.

We are so proud to have won these 2 awards against some outstanding Welsh companies and thanks goes out to every colleague within Creating Enterprise and the parent company Cartrefi Conwy for their hard work in making this happen.”

The Fast Growth 50 Awards took place last Friday 8th November in Cardiff. The awards celebrate the fastest growing businesses in Wales. The Fast Growth 50 list is a reminder of the talent, perseverance and hard work of those Welsh entrepreneurs creating wealth and employment in all parts of Wales.

Find out more


Jobs Fair 18th October 2019

Posted on: October 10, 2019

Our popular jobs fair is back next week!

If you’re looking for a job please come along to meet local employers and find out about the latest vacancies.

Bring your CV. If you don’t have one, get in touch with the team and we can help you get one ready.

It starts at 10am at Creating Enterprise, Cartrefi Conwy Business Park, Station Road, Mochdre LL28 5EF.


Construction has started for our first Modular homes on Anglesey

Posted on: October 2, 2019

Creating Enterprise Modular Solutions are working for Anglesey County Council through MWT (civil contractors) to build 4 x sheltered bungalows. We are constructing timber frame passive house units to a Beattie Passive design. The timber panels are already up on our first Modular build site! They arrived onsite from our nearby Modular factory. The walls were erected in just 3 hours!

Next the cladding is going up on the walls ready for the eco build insulation to be pumped into the sealed cavity.

We are also working alongside Menter Mon to give those furthest from the job market work opportunities giving them training, qualifications and experience on a construction site. We are utilising our own in house specially trained team to build the units.

We have also been working with the local school on Health & Safety issues on a construction site and showing them the benefits of a passivhaus eco-friendly home. Some of the children have designed some brilliant posters which we will be displaying on the outside of the site.

Follow us on Twitter to get the latest updates.

Factory built homes could be the answer to county’s housing crisis

Posted on: August 8, 2019

The timber modular homes, which can be erected in days, also require 90% less heating meaning they could also help to eliminate fuel poverty.

Plans to tackle the homelessness crisis, social housing shortage and help eliminate fuel poverty using modular homes have been unveiled.

The timber paneled dwelling, showcased by Cartrefi Conwy Maes at the National Eisteddfod this week, are built in a factory and then can be erected on site within five – eight days.

The buildings use high performance insulation, meaning the homes will require 90% less heating.

Made in Anglesey under a licence by Creating Enterprise, a subsidiary of Cartrefi Conwy, it is hoped the houses can be built quickly and cheaply to bring much needed social housing to North Wales.

Gwynne Jones, managing director of Cartrefi Conwy, said: “What we are doing as part of our programme is we need to develop just over 400 homes in the next four years to create more homes for people.

“We have our own company, Creating Enterprise, which has set up a factory in Holyhead to create these homes. They could eliminate fuel poverty for our tenants. But it could be designed for a one off home. It is a timber frame building but it’s highly insulated.

Find out more – Daily Post

Fantastic week at the Eisteddfod!

Posted on: August 8, 2019

We have had a brilliant time at the Eisteddfod in Llanrwst.

We have welcomed lots of families to our stand with Cartrefi Conwy and the kids have loved colouring flags and painting their own house.

Our #Haus4one has been popular too – not just for sheltering from the rain 😆 We’ve been talking about all things Beattie Passive

We even had a chat with RGC who visited our stand.

There has been such a great atmosphere at the show and we are delighted to have been a part of this.


Delighted to gain funding to deliver ‘Passport to Construction’ across North Wales

Posted on: August 6, 2019

The funding is part of a £10m boost to the construction industry from CITB to get people from diverse backgrounds into construction.

Creating Enterprise will be running work readiness courses & placements for more than 140 long-term unemployed people.

It’s a 6 week free course – 2 days a week and is a great opportunity for anybody looking to get into construction.

  • Boost your skills
  • Gain your CSCS Card
  • Work experience on a construction site

Start Date: 23rd September 2019

Venue: Creating Enterprise, Mochdre, LL28 5EF

To book call 01492 588980


Bryn Jones, Lead Technician tells us more about our Flying Factory

Posted on: July 31, 2019

How is the Flying Factory working in practice?

The Flying Factory is working extremely well, its been easy to follow and we’re looking to bring in around 50 volunteers from the local community to learn the skills needed to build these homes. We’re committed to upskilling local people who will in turn be able to grow the capacity of the Flying Factory with more homes planned each year.

I have been equally impressed with the way a Beattie Passive home can be adapted for its environment and surroundings. Many Passivhaus types are identical but Beattie Passive allows a flexibility in design so they can be finished in any style you want.

“It’s a very quick and efficient system. We can put the frame of a house up in two days – it’s the future of building.”

What was your role before, and how did you join Creating Enterprise?

Previously I was a joiner at a Housing Association-owned DLO when I was put forward to attend the Beattie Passive Flying Factory training, so that I could lead the team at our own Flying Factory building homes for Creating Enterprise, part of Cartrefi Conwy.

How have you found the set-up and the Beattie Passive system?

The Beattie Passive system is a great way to look at a new era of construction. It’s so easy that it becomes completely inclusive, giving everyone a chance to build high-quality homes, not just those who are already skilled in building.

As a joiner, I’m hooked on the system and can clearly see that this is better than traditional methods of building homes and something I’m delighted to be working on.

How is the Flying Factory supporting the training and skills development agenda of Creating Enterprise?

As part of the business plan we were targeted with 30 homes this year, but we’re already up to 75. So the future is bright to upscale the factory here and potentially have more Flying Factories onsite to deliver more homes in the local community, using volunteers and skilled labour we have trained in the Beattie Passive system.

Creating Enterprise factory near Holyhead.

You are invited to our SUMMER FIESTA

Posted on: July 30, 2019

This August we are bringing you three exciting family events!

All the events are free but you must book your place in advance.

Thursday 22nd August, John Bright’s Leisure Centre – hula hoop workshop, face painting & bouncy castle, buffet lunch

Friday 23rd August, Mochdre Infant School – sports activities, prizes to be won, free pizza.

Saturday 24th August, Porth Eirias – beach games and water activities, buffet lunch

To book – please call 01492 588980 or email


Thank You and Good Luck to Volunteer Wendy

Posted on: July 25, 2019

Today we said goodbye to Wendy who has been volunteering  for 2 years supporting our Caretakers in Abergele. She moves on to Canolfan Dinorben in Abergele to support all the amazing work and activities that go on there.

‘Creating Enterprise gave me the boost I needed. During my time volunteering, I just got to be me. If you’re in a rut, don’t just think about it, do it! I will always be sharing the great work of Creating Enterprise, and have already encouraged some of my neighbours to get involved. The team are amazing and I always feel welcomed. I leave with useful qualifications, lots of experience and nothing but positive things to say about Creating Enterprise.’

Wendy has been a huge support to the team over the last few years and will definitely be missed.

If you are looking to get back into work but don’t know where to begin, we can help you make the first step. You can gain experience in a variety of roles including admin, customer services, painting and plumbing.

Get in touch with the team on 01492 588 980 or pop into our Employment Academy Monday – Friday 10am – 12pm and 2pm – 4pm.