Foundational Economy Community of Practice

Since 2020, Cynnal Cymru has facilitated a community of practice on behalf of Welsh Government exploring how to grow and support the foundational economy. Its main areas of focus cover Housing, Social Care, Food and Future Skills with members from public bodies, housing associations, industry representatives, voluntary and private sector organisations.

The foundational economy community of practice started in July 2020 as part of the Welsh Government’s Foundational Economy Challenge Fund. Its aim was to share learning and innovation, build relationships and encourage collaboration.

The Challenge Fund provided support to projects looking to try out new ways to address challenges – some emerging, some age-old – faced by foundational economy businesses or those relying on their services.

These included:

  • the recruitment, retention and skills of the workforce
  • the delivery structures and design of services
  • the recruitment, retention and skills of the workforce
  • the delivery structures and design of services

The aim was to explore a range of solutions that could potentially generate viable, adaptable models that could be scaled up and spread to strengthen local economies and community wealth-building.

Staring in 2019 with an initial 52 projects, it was always expected that some experiments would not succeed and conditions were made even more challenging by the impact of the pandemic.

A community of practice was also however put in place to help capture some of the rich learning and insights generated by all the projects taking part. The examples in the case studies below give a flavour of the projects supported by the Fund – their successes, challenges and above all learning, about how best the foundational economy in their area or sector can be supported. The Fund closed in March 2021 but, at the request of members, the community of practice has continued. Its role continues to be to share learning, encourage and expand dialogue and facilitate collaboration.

If you would be interested in joining a session or finding out more, please contact clare@cynnalcymru.com.

The Foundational Economy Challenge Fund supported innovative, experimental approaches to community wealth-building and resilient local economies.

Cefnogodd Cronfa Her Economi Sylfaenol dulliau arloesol ac arbrofol o adeiladu cyfoeth cymunedol ac economïau lleol cadarn.

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