DTA Wales encourages development trusts and other community organisation to cultivate a community enterprises for long term sustainability. We are involved in a number of initiatives to promote and support community enterprise activity.

Part of the mission of the DTA Wales is to help development trusts operate more effectively through the use of community enterprise. A community enterprise is a business with social rather than financial objectives. Any surpluses that a community enterprise generates will be principally 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 many years the DTA has championed the use of community enterprise as a sustainable way for community organisations to deliver their social mission.

What is a Community Enterprise?

Development trusts aim to bring about social, economic and environmental renewal. We do this through community enterprise. 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 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.
  • This means trading for social purpose - where surpluses are reinvested in further enterprise development and for community benefit.
  • Community ownership of assets (buildings, land and other assets) can build business capacity and achieve community goals.

In summary, community enterprise means creating wealth in communities, and keeping it there.

The community enterprise movement

The community enterprise movement is itself part of a wider social enterprise movement (including social firms, co-operatives, mutuals, and social businesses such as, for example, the Big Issue or Divine Chocolate.)alt

Our values

We believe that community enterprise is value-driven. These are the DTA’s values:

  • We believe in encouraging and supporting people to take responsibility for the renewal of their own communities
  • We stand for accountability to local people, as well as collective action and partnership
  • We recognise the diversity that exists within communities and regard this as a source of strength
  • We value sustainable regeneration, which addresses the economic, environmental and social needs of a community, and which involves the creation of wealth for communities by communities.