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Six business founders to champion entrepreneurship
Business Minister Edwina Hart said their role is to proactively promote entrepreneurship and provide guidance on entrepreneurship policy to the Welsh Government.
The Minister said:
“Entrepreneurs are essential for developing a strong economy, building companies and helping to spread prosperity and create jobs.
“We want to encourage and support entrepreneurs in Wales and the Champions will advise on what support is needed to help start-up and small firms with real potential to thrive and grow and how the Welsh Government can embed an entrepreneurial culture in Wales.
“I am grateful for the enthusiastic support of these individuals who have built up extremely successful businesses and are willing to give their time and energy to drive this important section of the economy forward.”
The six Champions are:
Askar Sheibani – who started Comtek from a garden shed. Comtek Network Systems UK Limited is now an international business based in Deeside, and employs 100 highly skilled people and has increased profitability by 25% each year for the past three years.
Ben Giles - Ultima Cleaning Ltd, Cardigan – left school at 15 to start a window-cleaning round and has since set up multiple successful and highly innovative businesses, but still retains his original window cleaning business.
James Taylor – set up Super Stars a child development company after graduating from university. Super Stars grew by 115% in the past year and now employs 110 permanent staff and 40 temporary staff.
Jon Lewis - Direct Healthcare Services Ltd – set up the business in 2009 and returned an end of year two turnover of £2.61 million. All but one of his staff were unemployed at the time of their recruitment – 70% were classed as long term unemployed having been out of work for at least six months before they were taken on by at Direct Healthcare Services.
Glynn Pegler – Culture Group – started the business when he was just 15 and has developed it from a regional magazine to one of the UK's most sought after new communications consultancies, with blue chip clients including Red Bull, Guinness and Google.
Rachel Fleri - Specialist Security Co Ltd - is the sole director of the business that began trading in 2001 and now provides professional security services for public and private sector clients across the UK.
The six champions, two of whom are Dynamo Role Models promoting entrepreneurship in schools, are passionate about entrepreneurship as a route for starting in business, are self-starters, inspirational and all actively involved in their business.
The Champions will form a voluntary network, meeting three times a year and speaking at several key events in Wales to promote entrepreneurship and inspire others to consider the entrepreneurship path into business.
They were selected through an open procurement process via Sell2Wales and press advertisements that attracted 48 potential candidates. Officials are undertaking additional recruitment to appoint a Welsh-speaking Champion.
The positions are voluntary and unpaid although travel and subsistence can be claimed.