Business Wales – 10 years of supporting business in Wales
Written by Gavin on 31st January 2023
Ten years since its launch, Business Wales has supported more than 390,000 entrepreneurs and businesses, assisted the creation of over 19,000 new start-ups and directly helped to create nearly 47,000 jobs in the Welsh economy.
Business Wales is the Welsh Government’s flagship bilingual business support service for Welsh micro-businesses and SMEs including social enterprises, and aspiring entrepreneurs of all ages. Business Wales is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government.
It provides dedicated support for those people wishing to start, sustain or grow their business through a range of face to face, telephone and online provision.
Economy Minister, Vaughan Gething, said:
“In the 10 years since its inception, Business Wales has established itself as a strong, visible and accessible brand that offers valuable support to its entrepreneurs and business across Wales, and helps them to build the knowledge, expertise and contacts to drive and grow their businesses.
“These latest statistics which show Business Wales has helped to create nearly 47,000 jobs and 19,000 new start-ups in its 10 year life, only serve to underline the importance of the service and the huge impact it has had on our economy. It has helped to build an entrepreneurial culture and has driven business growth in communities right across Wales.
“And during the economic uncertainty of the past few years with Brexit, Covid pandemic and the current cost of living crisis we’ve seen the value of Business Wales adaptability in providing a single, integrated service to support Welsh businesses. Indeed during the Pandemic Business Wales helped to deliver financial support to 32,000 Welsh businesses that needed additional support.
“As it celebrates its 10th birthday, the service really has established itself as a vital and valued part of the business landscape in Wales. That is why we are absolutely committed to continuing this service and have committed an additional £10m per year for the next 2 years at least, following the end of EU funding.”
Today, the Economy Minister will visit Frog Bikes in Pontypool which was also founded in 2013 with support from Business Wales. The company has a specific aim of designing and building quality, light weight and affordable kids bikes including balance bikes, first pedal bikes, hybrid, road, MTBs and track bikes. Since start-up, they have earned global accolades, industry awards for innovation and design and an award-winning factory, together working with worldwide retailers and thriving partnerships and today they employ 54 people.
Jerry Lawson, Chief Frog at Frog Bikes, said:
“Since we first considered opening our factory in Wales, we have really appreciated the support we’ve had from Business Wales. This has included helping us find the right premises, support with recruitment and staff training, helping us access new export markets and funding for innovation and manufacturing efficiencies.”
Robert Lloyd Griffiths, Director Wales, ICAEW, and chair of the Business Wales Task and Finish group, said: “Before the establishment of Business Wales, business support was perceived to be fragmented, complicated to access and varied in its implementation and success rates – Business Wales has made a real and positive impact and this is in no small part attributable to the dedication, professionalism, entrepreneurial flair, can-do mindset and sheer hard work of the team responsible and I thank and pay tribute to all who have worked so hard these last 10 years into making Business Wales the success it is today – it has performed an incredible job, particularly during the pandemic.”
Ben Cottam, Head of FSB Wales, said:
“Over the last 10 years, Business Wales has grown to become a critical and well-regarded part of the small business landscape and an important service in supporting Welsh smaller businesses and entrepreneurs. As we saw during the Covid crisis, it’s also proven itself to be an invaluable and responsive infrastructure in helping businesses and the economy through some the most testing times. As we look to recover the economy in the short-term and further over the coming years, we very much look forward to working with Business Wales and Welsh Government to ensure that the ambitions of Welsh entrepreneurs to start businesses, grow them and employ those around them are supported and we congratulate the service on 10 years of delivery.”
Business Wales provides dedicated support for those people wishing to start or grow their business through a range of face to face, telephone and online provision. It also plays an important part in helping the Welsh Government build a stronger, fairer, greener economy, and is:
- a vital part of Welsh Government’s Young Person’s Guarantee helping young people to develop their business ideas and providing support to help them set up their own businesses or go self-employed.
- offering specialist advice to support employee buy outs, with fully funded and bespoke help available through the Business Wales and Social Business Wales. The Welsh Government is committed to providing greater support to ensure Wales-based companies remain in Welsh hands
- supporting businesses to decarbonise by offering a wide range of advice and support on green policies, practices and resource efficiency which include the Green Ambition Campaign and Green Growth Pledge.