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Small Businesses across Wales honoured at FSB ceremony

Firms from right across Wales were honoured recently at the FSB Wales Celebrating Small Business Awards. The ceremony, which was hosted by ITV News anchor, Andrea Byrne, was held in the Mercure Holland House Hotel, Cardiff.

The excitement in the room was palpable as the finalists gathered to hear who would scoop the prizes in the twelve award categories.  As ever, it was a very difficult task for the judges to separate the winners from the extremely high calibre of those reaching the finals. However, it had to be done.

So, here they are and huge FSB Wales congratulations to all the winners

Business and Product Innovation Award

Winner: The Financial Game, Wrexham
Tim created The Financial Game App. A KPMG qualified Chartered Accountant with global experience including the United States, Caribbean and Scandinavia. His career has covered private practice, as a partner in a substantial provincial firm, and financial directorships. He has provided financial, strategic, IT and management skills to small and medium sized companies including Social Enterprises and Charities and Intellectual Property Verification for Hollywood Majors such as MGM and Newline.

Business Exporter of the Year

Winner: Net World Sports, Wrexham
Based in Wrexham, North Wales, Net World Sports is a leading global e-commerce business, targeting schools, clubs and end-users with an expanding range of quality, predominantly own-brand, sports equipment. The company started with the MD selling cricket bats from his bedroom; the company are now recognised as the second fastest-growing privately-owned business in Wales by the Sunday Times Virgin Fast Track 100.

Digital Business of the Year

Winner: Semester: Learning and Development, Swansea
Semester: Learning & Development are an award-winning family led training company. We provide high quality technical training online with no attendance required. We are dedicated to opening new learning experiences for people.

The company was formed by our MD, Scott Margison who is passionate about both learning and teaching and wanted to bring this to people with no geographical boundaries.  

Our MD has led quite a colourful life – he is ex-forces, served in 2 war zones and moved house more than 14 times including emigrating to Canada.   This was part of the reason for starting the business – the upheaval of moving home and the disruption that this causes can often mean that education and learning take a back seat in life.  With our online nationally recognised qualification programmes this is no longer the case for people wanting to progress with the support of Semester: Learning & Development.

Employer of the Year

Winner: Educ8 Group, Caerphilly
The Educ8 Group, based in Ystrad Mynach, is a values-driven, ambitious and dynamic organisation, led by Chairman; Colin Tucker, and CEO; Grant Santos, alongside an experienced senior management team. With over 13 years’ experience in delivering high quality vocational training programmes, Apprenticeships and work placement opportunities, they are proud of their track record for delivering world-class training, development and recruitment solutions to a range of micro organisations, SMEs and large corporations.

Ethical Green Business of the Year

Winner: MAYKHER, Cardiff
MAYKHER is a profit with purpose, sustainable and ethical practise fashion company. They vow to work with makers, not machines, favouring ethical employment opportunities and fair wages. Committed to helping harness the talent of women in the developing world, MAYKHER aim to ensure the greatness people were born with can thrive even in the most impoverished of areas.

MAYKHER believe in equality and use their store as a tool to address an area they feel passionate about, Education. There are approximately 130 million girls worldwide out of education, often just because they’re a girl. MAYKHER is focused on investing at least 10% of their end of year profits into the education of girls and young women.

Family Business of the Year

Winner: Hugh Phillips Gower Butcher, Swansea
Based in Swansea, Hugh Phillips Gower butcher are continuing a family tradition that began in 1878 when current owner Catherine’s great grandfather John Hughes ran an abattoir just across the road in Cwm Cynnar, Llanmorlais, Gower.  Catherine Butler is 5th Generation owner of Hugh Phillips Gower Butchers. She is the great-granddaughter of the founder and the only woman in Wales to own abattoir and hold a full slaughtering licence. 

Microbusiness of the Year

Winner: Semantise, Gwynedd
Semantise Ltd is based in Gwynedd, North Wales.  Their mission is to improve productivity in schools - vital at a time when the demands on schools and teachers are changing very quickly. By helping schools 'do more with less', more resources can be used for front line teaching and learning activities. 
Over the past four years Semantise have made a significant investment building a new digital platform for schools and parents: eeZeeTrip.

Scale-up Business of the Year

Winner: Wolfestone, Swansea
Wolfestone is the leading translation and language services company in Wales, specialising in translation, localisation, multilingual SEO, interpreting and transcreation.
Everything we do at Wolfestone is focused on one ultimate goal: complete customer satisfaction!

Our industry leading linguists have specific expertise in their field and have been through an incredibly rigorous selection process. Every project we undertake at Wolfestone is supported by the very best linguistic technology available. Combined with our talented team, this is a successful partnership. Also, we are one of very few translation companies that is independently UKAS certified with ISO 9001:2008 and ISO 14001:2004.

Start-up Business of the Year

Winner: Ateb Cyntaf Cyf, Gwynedd
Ateb was set-up in 2016, and is run by directors Rhys Evans and Llinos Iorwerth, from our office in Menai Bridge on Anglesey. 

Ateb means ‘answer’ – and our aim is to provide answers to help organisations and businesses develop and implement Welsh language strategies to meet new regulations in a practical and affordable way.

We work with clients from across Wales and beyond, providing support on Welsh language matters, corporate communications, customer services and policy development. We believe in our offer and are keen to highlight the opportunities that come with offering Welsh language services.

Young Entrepreneur of the Year

Winner: Oliver Thomas – YIVER, Conwy
Oliver Thomas, based in Conwy, started his first business aged 17 whilst still studying at 6th form. His first business was a “What’s On” event website for North Wales which changed the way that events were marketed to people in the area.
Later, Oliver started his own company called YIVER – a full service agency from, the typical social media selling, to crisis management and commercial sponsorship.
Oliver is now 22 years old and has started his second business after refusing to let his first be his last.

Triumph Over Adversity Award

Winner: Newbolds, Cwmbran
Newbolds is based in 5 locations across South Wales, and strives to provide practical, jargon-free legal advice to clients. Catherine Watkins started her law firm in 2010 without any financial, business or emotional support, and starting out with only 1 member of staff.  Despite all of the challenges, Catherine (with her business partner Maurice) grew the firm very quickly.  In 2010 the firm had 1 employee and now in 2017 the firm employs nearly 65 local staff, has 4 offices and has a revenue in excess of £3 million.

Welsh in Business Award

Winner: SWYDDLE, Cardiff
Swyddle is a Limited Liability Partnership, based in Roath, Cardiff, specialising in bilingual recruitment.  The company is led by fluent Welsh speakers, who have over 30 years experience of working bilingually within recruitment and strategic communications.  The principle aim is to enable businesses and community based organisations to gain commercial advantage, social capital and access to the bilingual marketplace by sourcing the best bilingual Welsh speaking staff and providing a wide range of language resources.  Their partnership has an extensive network of connections across Wales.