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Asda Social Enterprise Supplier Development Academy launched in Wales

SIS and Asda are extending the reach of the newly launched Social Enterprise Supplier Development Academy into Wales, through a new partnership with Social Investment Cymru, the financing arm of WCVA.

WCVA Hi Res

Following a launch in Scotland earlier this year, this ground breaking opportunity will provide support for product-based social enterprises in Wales to apply for a place within a new Academy set up to increase the availability of products for ethically-minded consumers in Asda supermarkets.

The new Academy will support at least two Welsh social enterprises to strengthen their understanding of supermarket retail and refine their commercial and marketing skills. The successful Welsh candidates will join a team of 12 social enterprises from Scotland who are currently in the process of being selected.

From 4th April until 22nd April, any social enterprise in Wales that thinks it has a product that could be sold in Asda stores will be able to apply for a place within the Academy. Successful social enterprises will receive:

  • Access to a range of specially developed training modules delivered over 3 days at Asda House in Leeds to include everything from understanding consumer purchasing to branding and packaging design
  • Support to pitch their product to Asda
  • Mentoring and insight from Asda experts and specialist support from Social Investment Cymru
  • A tailored grant to cover participation in the Academy
  • Access to bespoke investment to help develop and expand operations should Asda decide to list products within its stores

While there are no guarantees that Academy participants will receive a listing with Asda, the skills and support offered throughout the programme will significantly improve their prospects and, more importantly, provide them with all the skills necessary to access the large retail market.

Funded through the proceeds from Asda’s carrier bag charge in Wales totalling, Social Investment Cymru will help Asda run the programme in Wales.

Alastair Davis, CEO, Social Investment Scotland, said: “We’ve received significant expressions of interest from Scotland’s social enterprise community to become part of this pioneering Academy, so we’re delighted that Asda have chosen to extend its reach into Wales. Increasing the size of the Academy can only help to support more social enterprises with ambitions of retailing to the public, using the profits to support social impacts within their communities. We’re looking forward to working with WCVA and Asda to help them identify some suitable candidates over the coming weeks to join the inaugural Academy starting in June.”

Asda’s partnership with Social Investment Scotland represents a significant commitment by the retailer to develop the UK’s social enterprise sector and create a long term sustainable impact within communities across the country. The programme – consisting of both the Academy and Asda Community Capital – will support a growing number of social enterprises to sell products directly to members of the general public.

Since launching Asda Community Capital last year, the fund has distributed over £300,000 in loans to a dozen local charities and community projects across Scotland. The most recent organisations to benefit from this investment include the Leith Theatre Trust, the Bay Tree Community Café, Highland Perthshire Media and Venture Mor Ltd.