It is the time of year when we reflect on what has been achieved at the Wales Co-operative Centre over the last twelve months and think about what the New Year holds.
Our 2011 highlights include extending our support project for co-operatives and social enterprises into North and East Wales; launching a new business succession and co-operative consortia project; gaining funding to support co-operative development in Africa; winning a new contract to deliver projects for the Co-operative Enterprise Hub; and the delivery of the largest social enterprise conference in Wales. We have successfully lobbied for the creation of a Co-operative Commission for Wales and our wider work on financial and digital inclusion has also gathered momentum.
All of this is important because of the contribution these initiatives make to creating jobs, sharing wealth, tackling injustice, promoting inclusion and strengthening our communities. And due to tough economic times, what we do at the Centre will be even more important in the year ahead.
2012 promises to be a very exciting year. Not only will we be joining with the worldwide co-operative sector to celebrate the UN International Year of Co-operatives, we will also be celebrating our own 30th Anniversary. We launch both of these on 10 January with the publication of a new report on the co-operative economy in Wales, and a reception at the Senedd which will be addressed by Edwina Hart, Minister for Business, Enterprise, Technology and Science, and Ed Mayo from Co-operatives UK.
We thank all our staff, funders and partners for their role in making the Centre a success in 2011. 2012 promises to provide just as many challenges and opportunities, which I look forward to taking on with other co-operators in Wales, the UK and around the world.