September 2022 Newsletter

Another 6 months have whizzed past, when we have seen the last of the lock-down restrictions finally lifted and businesses being able to get back to normal, but also seen the worrying rise in the cost of living and increasing numbers of people struggling financially. Purple Shoots has seen steady numbers of people applying for funds to start new businesses and a big upsurge in demand for our self-reliant groups. July was our 9th birthday and the start of the 10th year of Purple Shoots – keep an eye out for events and celebrations in the coming year!

Some of our highlights over the last 6 months:

  • Our first loans in Purple Shoots Yorkshire have completed, with a steady stream of enquiries building and potential now to launch something in Lincolnshire.
  • “Peaced Together” courses completed and new self-reliant groups started in Barry, Aberdare, Penrhiwceibr, Swansea, Treherbert, Pontypridd and Cheltenham.
  • New partnerships growing developing
    self-reliant groups together – with Cynon Taf Housing, Rhondda Housing, and churches in St Athan, Barry and Rhoose with others coming on board shortly. We’ve also been working with Valley’s Kids and Men’s Sheds in Treherbert developing our groups there (with support from PenyCymoedd Windfarm Community Fund).
  • New community cafe opened in St Peter’s Church in Rhoose, run by a developing SRG which is including people with additional needs.
  • Completion of the CORE project – our partnership with the Wales Co-operative Centre
  • (now Cwmpas) and Aberdare BID, which has seen us support 11 social enterprises and run some very informal courses for people thinking about starting a business but not sure where to start. We plan to offer these in other locations
  • Started a partnership with the Welsh Refugee Council supporting groups of refugees locally who want to start their own business
  • Lots of successful workshops run in our new shop – which is full of a wide range of products made by our SRGs and borrowers
  • Some new videos on our website made by Datrysiad Media

We are still grateful to the Moondance Foundation for the Purple Moon Fund which has provided much of our lending capital this year. We are also delighted that Ceniarth Foundation, a Wales based foundation, has supported us with a grant which has enabled us to pursue our scale-up plans with more confidence. They have offered further finance if we can match it with other investment – so any potential investors could double their impact if they support us now!
We began on the Cinnamon Network incubator programme in January with a two day residential which gave us quite intensive training as well as a chance to get to know the other great charities which are in our cohort, many of whom we could partner with in the future….

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Thank you to everyone who follows and supports us!

Karen Davies