Enterprise Facilitation in Wales - One Year Anniversary

by Heath Dewey on May 1st, 2012

Enterprise Facilitator Moe Forouzan and successful new business owners.


I just returned from a site visit to the Enterprise Facilitation program in Blaenau Gwent, Wales, UK. The program is located in a rural and economically blighted area of Wales that had previously prospered as a mining community and then as a steel producing area. Economies of natural resources and labor took their toll on the area and made both industries obsolete between the 1960's and the 1990's. A large portion of the population of the area is currently on some sort of social assistance, i.e. welfare. According to a study performed by Dave Adamson and Kyle Burgess of Center for Regeneration Excellence Wales,

"Whilst it is not uncommon for significant regenerative changes to take well over a decade, it is clear that Blaenau Gwent still needs significant regenerative support if it is to become a thriving, self-sustaining region of the future. In particular Blaenau Gwent struggles in terms of financial poverty, low rates of economic activity and a high unemployment rate."

One form of regenerative support that is playing its part to revitalize and inspire communities is the Blaenau Gwent Effect (Enterprise Facilitation for Effective Community Transformation) program. Blaenau Gwent Effect is an Enterprise Facilitation program, a form of economic development that taps into the intelligence and knowledge of the local community to boost the creation of new of businesses and jobs. After all, who understand the needs of a community better than the very people who live in it?

Kapoks was fortunate to be invited by the Blaenau Gwent Effect Management Board and the Sirolli Institute to attend the one-year anniversary of the program on April 19, 2012. During and after the event I met many of the participants in the program including the Enterprise Facilitator, his Ambassadors (clients of the program), Volunteer Panel members and Management Board members. Participants in the program embodied optimism as they discussed their lives and their communities. I met new business owners who had nothing but positive things to say about their Enterprise Facilitator, Moe Forouzan, their new businesses, and their prospects for the future. They all conveyed hope and pride that was nothing less than contagious. I could not help but feel optimistic for them and the impact they would have on their communities.
Since the completion of the Enterprise Facilitation training by the Sirolli Institute in March 2011, the Blaenau Gwent Effect program has significantly transformed lives and attitudes about the future. Blaenau Gwent Effect is already working with 148 potential businesses, has opened 20 new businesses and created 24 new jobs.

Kapoks will be watching this program closely for the next few years. We are looking for the program's impact on the development of new businesses and jobs as well as a positive impact on the way Blaenau Gwent communities communicate about themselves and their future prospects.

Kapoks collected photos, videos and interviews of the anniversary event and of the program in action. It is our hope that we are able to convey the energy and passion that we witnessed during our visit through these different media via our website, blog and social media. Please look out for future posts about Blaenau Gwent Effect and its impact on the communities it serves.

If you are interested in participating or learning more about the Blaenau Gwent Effect program check out their website bgeffect.com.

Posted in Community Development, Economic development, Enterprise Facilitation, Enterprise Facilitator, Entrepreneurship, Sirolli Institute, International economic development    Tagged with Blaenau Gwent Effect, economic development, Entrepreneurship, Enterprise Facilitation, Sirolli Institute, Kapoks, Kapoks and Sirolli Institute alliance


Leave a Comment