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We are offering funding of up to £4.5m to support businesses and organisations operating within the foundational economy.

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First published:
14 May 2019
Last updated:

Our new £4.5m fund will test innovative ways of supporting and growing our foundational economy so that we can spread good practice right across Wales. I want it to fund experimental projects that are collaborative and innovative, test which Governmental interventions works best and challenge the conventional ways of doing things.

Lee Waters AM, Deputy Minister for Economy and Transport

The Welsh Government approach

The Welsh Government’s approach to supporting and developing the foundational economy will focus on three areas:

Our £4.5m Foundational Economy Challenge Fund: This will support a series of experimental projects that will enable us, with the help our partners, to test how we can best support the foundational economy and which Government interventions work best.

A renewed focus on growing the ‘missing middle’: We want to increase the number of grounded firms in Wales and establish a firm base of medium sized Welsh firms which are capable of selling outside Wales but have decision making rooted firmly in our communities.

Spreading and scaling best practice: We will start looking at social value within procurement. We will support Public Service Boards to use and strengthen local supply chains. The Well-being of Future Generations Act methods will help us make quick progress.

The foundational economy consists of basic services and products

People rely on these services and products and they keep us safe, sound and civilised. Examples of the foundational economy are:

  • care and health services
  • food
  • housing
  • energy
  • construction
  • tourism
  • and retailers on the high street. 

The industries and firms that are there because people are there. The food we eat, the homes we live in, the energy we use and the care we receive.

This is not a small part of the Welsh economy, with estimates suggesting it is four in ten jobs and £1 in every three that we spend. In some parts of Wales this basic ‘foundational economy’ is the economy.

More information on the successful projects can be found on the Business Wales website.