Community Enterprise


Part of our mission is to encourage development trusts and other community organisations to cultivate community enterprises for long term sustainability. We are involved in a number of initiatives to promote and support community enterprise activity.

A community enterprise is a business with social rather than financial objectives. Any surpluses that a community enterprise generates will be reinvested for that purpose in the business or in the community, rather than being driven by the need to maximise profits for shareholders and owners.

For us, community enterprise means:
  • Community-led organisations – both community of place and of interest
  • A self-help ethos – while we achieve much in partnership with local authorities, businesses etc, we aim to avoid dependency
  • Communities themselves are the best agents of their own renewal
  • Philanthropic and welfare approaches by themselves are not enough – enterprise is necessary for sustained change
  • Trading for social purpose – where surpluses are reinvested in further enterprise development for community benefit
  • Community ownership of assets (buildings, land and other assets) can build business capacity and achieve community goals

There are community enterprises operating in a wide range of sectors right across the UK. They form part of the overall social enterprise sector in Wales. Examples of well known community enterprises in Wales include some of our Members, such as Galeri Caernarfon in North West Wales, Vision 21 in Cardiff, and PLANED in West Wales. In summary, community enterprise means creating wealth in communities, and keeping it there.

To support the growth of community enterprises in Wales, DTA Wales aims to develop an increasingly confident and competent peer mentoring service to social enterprises in Wales through Social Business Wales.

View a range of case studies showing a range of different types of community and social enterprises across Wales in the videos below.