The FSB Wales Celebrating Small Business Awards 2019 was a tremendous success, seeing businesses from right across Wales walking away with awards across a range of categories. With many Welsh firms taking the time out to enter last year, they are becoming some of the most sought-after and well-respected awards in the business sector and are back for 2020.
Applications have now closed leading up to the Welsh final in March 2020. We have seen some remarkable entries in 2020 and our 2020 Winners have been announced.
The FSB awards are an opportunity to take part in a high profile event that champions the best small businesses and self-employed individuals across the whole of Wales.
The awards ceremony itself is again expected to be a big hit, and will open with a drinks reception followed by a two-course lunch and promises to be an afternoon of celebration and recognition.
The Welsh winners will also be entered for the UK-wide grand final held in London in May, and will be in the running to be crowned FSB Small Business of the Year 2020.
Good luck to all our finalists!
Our 2020 winners were:
International Business of the Year Winner
Net World Sports
Business & Product Innovation Award winner:
Wales Social Enterprise and Community Award of the Year Winner
Morgan’s Hair, Beauty & Wigs
High Growth Business of the Year
Young Entrepreneur of the Year Winner
Liam Morgan Central FM Group Ltd
Family Business of the Year Winner
A&R Contract Cleaning
Simply Do Ideas Ltd
Simply Do Ideas is a cloud-based, digital platform enabling organisations to capture, evaluate and support challenge-led innovation. To differentiate themselves in the market, Simply Do focus on innovation management and tracking rather than purely idea-collection. Use cases range from employee idea capture (closed innovation) through to fully-managed, global innovation marketplaces (open innovation). Simply Do's unique approach to innovation management combines a state-of-the-art digital platform, utilising AI and machine learning, to give clients an enhanced automated experience. This is complemented by high-quality professional support from an exceptional team of innovation experts.
Glyndŵr Innovations Ltd
Glyndŵr Innovations Limited manages a purpose built technology centre in St Asaph, North Wales offering a range of services to the local business community. The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Wrexham Glyndŵr University. Its in-house Precision Optical Systems team has built an enviable reputation offering specialist skills for the fabrication, test and integration of precision optics. This includes large, to 2.0m diameter, and complex optics. Other capabilities include the design, integration and verification of optical systems, all supported by in-house teams for optical design, opto-mechanical design, optical fabrication and precision metrology.
Ultima Cleaning Ltd
Ultima Cleaning Ltd came from small beginnings as a window cleaning company in west Wales, looking to diversify, find a niche, and be recognised as a specialist company. The Managing Director, Ben Giles, steered the company down the route of biohazard cleaning. Ultima Cleaning employs about 50 people, and specialise in regular cleaning works, fire and flood restoration, police custody cell cleaning, decontamination services, etc. It has also created its own training Academy, and national response service Ultima Environmental.
Airbond makes yarn splicers. Splicers use compressed air to join yarns in textile processes, connecting bobbins or repairing breakages. Smoother and stronger than knots, spliced joints transform quality and production efficiency. Though unknown to the man on the street, the technology is universal in textiles. Through Airbond’s research, splicers are now accepted in the composites sector, where efficiency is paramount. Airbond is managed by Graham Waters, who read Physics at Imperial College, and who was an R&D Manager at the old ICI company.
Net World Sports
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. Moving from humble beginnings with their MD selling cricket bats from his bedroom, they’re now renowned as one of the fastest-growing privately-owned businesses in Wales. With around 55% of their sales from their overseas customers, their ever-expanding range of niche, own-brand products cover a wide range of sports to suit every international marketplace. With strong partnerships built with their couriers they are thrilled to offer their customers the fastest shipping services to outdo their competitors.
Trax JH Ltd
Trax design and manufacture 85m wheel balancing weights per year for the automotive industry. 80% of its products are exported worldwide to OEM's and the aftermarket. Trax offer bespoke design solutions for its customers, which greatly strengthen the working relationships and a more sustainable product lifetime. Bespoke products are now supplied to some of the largest distribution companies in countries as far reaching as Japan and Australia. Trax won the international Trade Award at the Powys Business awards 2017, along with Business of the Year 2017.
The Forge opened at Easter 2018, delighting guests with its unique approach to luxury camping. Set on a 20-acre smallholding in an AONB, sustainability is core to The Forge’s ethos. Accommodation is in five luxury bell tents and a vintage gypsy caravan, each with camp kitchens and composting toilets made from local, sustainably sourced timber. They upcycle kitchenware from local charity shops, use grey water from the camp kitchens and humanure from their composting toilets to feed their growing woodland, having just planted 2,000 trees. They also run courses on how to live more sustainably and become self-sufficient.
Celtic Financial Planning Ltd
Celtic Financial, co-founded by Robert Lewis, Nigel Dale and Ella Catherall, are independent financial advisers that help clients make money, save money and protect their money. However, they also care about their local environment and as such from day one they adopted a corporate social responsibility mandate to ensure they looked after their local environment and community.
Darlow Lloyd & Sons Ltd
Darlow Lloyd and Sons Ltd (DLS) is an Environmental Solution Provider. Founded in 1965, DLS continuously strives to expand into new markets and territories throughout the UK and the rest of the World. They offer services for Waste & By-products Recycling through Patented environmental solutions, Regeneration, Waste Management & Recycling and Renewable Energy Services. DLS core values include putting the client first and building excellent client relations through a strong team who have a passion for success and finding bespoke solution for their clients’ challenges. Current Clients include Tata Steel UK Ltd, Celsa, British Steel, Rockwool, G2 Energy, UKPN.
Techlan was formed in 2010 to develop an innovative process to clean and recycle high value substrates. Techlan completed its R&D in 2014 and patented its process. Techlan uses this process to repurpose silicon coated release paper. This paper was previously used just once as a raw material in the manufacture of composites for the aero, wind energy and automotive sectors and then disposed of to landfill. Techlan converts the reprocessed paper to reel or sheet format for supply to third party customers worldwide. Techlan is a perfect example of the Circular Economy model.
MICRO BUSINESS OF THE YEAR
Total Generation Ltd
TGL provide servicing and maintenance of many makes and models of wind turbines. They operate across the UK however they try to focus their customer base in Wales. They started back in January 2016 when the national company that was maintaining the majority of their turbines went into liquidation. Their director had worked in the industry for over 15 years prior to this and stepped in to cover the gap left in the market offering a service valued highly by their customers. They pride themselves on offering a personal touch and working closely with their customers.
Avia Sports Cars Ltd
Hayley Pells is an MOT tester and high voltage mechanic operating from her workshop in Bridgend, South Wales. Women are still unusual in the automotive sector, yet Hayley has been recognised nationally for championing the benefits of inclusion and diversity within the sector. The business enjoys a low attrition rate and a robust client basis. Avia Autos has a national reputation for excellence, particularly in their area of specialisation which is wheel alignment.
Jamie Hill Hair Salon
Jamie first opened his doors in October 2010 after working and training in hair for 10 years. He wanted to create a space where his clients and his team would be able to relax. Breaking the mould of the generic hairsalon. Jamie Hill Hair Salon on Victoria Quay is a destination for those looking for excellent client service, in an environment that embraces sustainability and where team members are encouraged to excel in their careers and develop as people.
Lucy and John Miller set up Llanfair Hall in 2015, completely changing career paths in their late 50s, in enterprise education and military service. The business punches way above its weight and has 5 perfectly built, heated glamping pods, a log cabin and a barn, all with private bathrooms and a green eco award, providing luxurious accommodation throughout the year, highlighted by a smart price list with no school holiday increases, supporting families and single parents. Peace, tranquillity and pristine night skies reign at Llanfair Hall.
Landsker Business Solutions Ltd
Landsker provides practical support and advice to pre-start and established rural businesses, across all sectors pan-Wales. With a skilled and experienced team of finance, strategy, marketing, operations and HR consultants, Landsker are committed to helping rural businesses achieve their goals and grow, especially in what can now be described as challenging times. Landsker deliver support on multiple programmes including Farming-Connect and Business Wales. Landsker was established in 2001 and has assisted 1,500+ SMEs in rural environments throughout Wales. They have accessed in excess of £120 million in funding for clients and assisted in the creation of over 3,200 jobs.
2 Degrees Kelvin Ltd
2DegreesKelvin is a Climate Change Engineering start-up specialising in solar farm assessments and optimisation. They deploy innovative technology and expertise to maximise green energy production, and in doing so directly reducing CO2 emissions to atmosphere. Their vision is to expand their technology and service developments within Solar PV and broaden this into the various contributing factors relating to global warming. They are creating an innovation centre for climate change idea development involving schools and universities to encourage the next generation of engineers and scientists to solve the biggest problems in the world.
Martha Loves Ltd
Martha Loves is a new business based on the Llyn Peninsula in North Wales, created by Alex Holland and Rachael Jones. Rachael is a mum of 5, having previously worked in the children’s clothing industry and Alex is a budding designer with a dream to be her own boss. Together they have found a gap in the market and a niche they have teamed up to fill. Martha Loves produces handmade comfy, funky, children’s underwear from 2-12 years. Both owners have developed a long lasting, high quality, product made with love, designed to last through potty training and beyond.
Cufflink is a secure mobile App and complimentary SaaS application that lets individuals maintain and share their Personal Information. Individuals get a free App where they can easily and safely store their Personal information and decide when and with whom to share it. Organisations will purchase a secure and transparent SaaS application to manage their customers' Personal Information thus mitigating against data loss and regulatory compliance risks and ultimately saving money. Their vision is to redress the control of Personal Information away from large multinationals and put it back in the hands of the people who own it.
The Moody Cow & Bargoed Farm Caravan Park
The Moody Cow & Bargoed Farm Caravan Park opened just 18 months ago and feel so thrilled and proud at the jobs the have created. The people who totally enjoy what they have created, and the difference they have made to people’s lives by creating long term rural jobs. After losing their home, farm and thriving business in 2010 due to bad legal advice, it has taken 10 years of heartache and hard work to rebuild their lives and their children. They are farmers first and foremost, and they wanted to rebuild their lives to ensure they help others too.
Adeo Travel Ltd
Adeo Travel is an independent inbound tour operator specialising in tailor-made holidays for overseas visitors coming to Britain. They offer a unique service compared with traditional tourism companies, and are one of only a handful of Britain-based operators who export these services to overseas clients. Adeo Travel is a family owned and run business which has grown considerably in recent years. In 2019 they were ranked number 18 at the Wales Fast Growth 50 Awards. From their offices in Cardiff, they interact with clients across the globe, from the United States and Canada to Singapore and Australia.
50 Shades of Clean Ltd
50 Shades of Clean Ltd was formed after the traumatic pregnancy and birth that left Stephanie Evans (Director) in an induced coma fighting for her life. Recovery was long and Stephanie and her husband Llewelyn needed to find an income to support them and 4 children. They bought a cleaning business from friends but all wasn't as it seemed. They realised they had to turn this business around or face bankruptcy. They diversified, re-structured and tripled the income within 16 months. 50 Shades of Clean continues to grow thanks to the drive of the husband and wife team.
Team Metalogic Ltd
Team Metalogic is a Managed Services provider (MSP) for SME’s. At their core, they are an outsourced IT department. Once the SME is onboard, they become an extension of your business. They provide an entire IT department’s worth of expertise. Their Team cover helpdesk support, procurement, networks, infrastructure, telecoms, security and cloud computing. Their customers range from small businesses to UK Wide PLC’s employing 500+. Their clients operate in a range of markets including Health, Finance, Law, Real Estate, and Manufacturing. Recently they have extended their core service with additional services including Telephony, Connectivity, Cyber Security and Cloud services.
EvaBuild are an award-winning modular groundworks, civil engineering and construction company working nationwide servicing clients in the education, healthcare and commercial sectors. Early engagement and partnership with key clients is a unique selling point for the business and has allowed EvaBuild to grow substantially since incorporation in 2011. EvaBuild find themselves placed in an enviable position within the marketplace, now being considered a leading supplier to the modular groundworks industry.
JL Training & Consultancy
At JL Training and Consultancy, there’s a firm belief that people are the most valuable assets in an organisation, and everything they do is in line with that. Whether it’s helping clients in shaping their strategy, improving their performance, or engaging their people, they’re always working towards creating great places to work. Jackie Lewis started the business in 2008, she employed her daughter as a fellow consultant and facilitator in 2014, and then took on her sister in 2019 as a Business Support Manager. They’ve always worked on the basis of trust, and focus on building honest, long-term relationships.
Vegetarian Food Studio
VFS is a family run restaurant that completed its 17 years last year. It was started by a young boy called Neil Patel at the age of 22. He learned most of his recipes from his grandmother, went to Birmingham University and received a first class degree in catering. He chose to specialise in vegetarian, vegan and gluten free as he saw there was a lot missing in this market. With the help of his parents, his personal savings and the HSBC bank, he managed to purchase a cafe which he converted into a small 30 seater restaurant. Four members of the family are involved.
A&R Contract Cleaning
A&R Contract Cleaning is a family run business run by husband and wife duo Ashley and Rayner. Their 18 year old son is in college three days a week, however he works two full days in the admin team of A&R. A&R currently have 200+ contracted staff who work a mixture of part and full time roles. Rayner started an ironing and cleaning business in 2008 as she could see there was a big demand for a local professional company offering excellent standards. A&R was born in 2010 when Rayner merged with Ashley. As the business has grown, they have maintained their exceptional overall standards.
Wooden Tops Furniture
Wooden Tops Furniture is run by husband and wife team, Mathew and Sophia, also employing Sophia's mother Julie on a part time basis along with their shop dog Amber who's quite the star. They specialise in selling high quality Vintage, Retro, Antique preloved furniture items, a vast range of Eco friendly up cycling products and paints and most recently a new range of home and gift ware. They also have a number of very successful purpose built on site workshops which are predominately managed by Mathew offering a professional furniture and kitchen spray painting service along with furniture restoration.
Tomms Care Ltd
Tomms Care Ltd is run by Carol Williams and her eldest son Tom. Carol's husband is also a director. It was set up to provide care services for their youngest son, Nick, who has severe Autism. They could not find any suitable services for him and so started their own. It now has 10 young people with Autism who benefit from the service.
Alix Charles - Alix Digital
Alix Charles is the Founder and Managing Director of Alix Digital. Having worked in Digital Marketing for many years, she took the leap into running her own business in May 2018. The company has since worked with many brands to help them achieve a healthy return on investment through their marketing efforts. They have also delivered numerous digital marketing training days and grown to a team of three full-time employees. Their main services include SEO (search engine optimisation), PPC (pay-per-click), Content writing and Social media management.
Sarah Brown - Cuddles Dog Groomers
The owner, Sarah Brown, opened the business in May 2018 when she was 21 years of age after having recently completed a professional grooming course whilst she was working as a carer. The business celebrated its first anniversary in May 2019.
Liam Morgan - Central FM Group Ltd
After leaving school in 2013 with no formal opportunities Liam’s life was at a cross roads. With some encouragement from his god father they set up a security business. In the beginning, the company only had one customer so Liam would work nights and weekends to help build a successful business which he strives to achieve. Some points of Liam’s young social life were a distant memory, but he knew that he had to work very hard to succeed and build the professional business he set out to do.
Nick Parsons-Young Jnr - West Environmental Limited
West Environmental Limited provides the best quality in undertaking anything to do with Asbestos, this includes Asbestos Removal, Surveying and Training. Nick Parsons-Young Jnr has worked in the company for over 10 years now from starting as a stores man to now becoming Managing Director.
Ross Jones - Ouma
Ross Jones is the CEO of Ouma, a specialist marketing business based in Swansea. He founded the business in 2017 at 23 years of age, after working his way up the corporate ladder to become Group Marketing and Communications Director of a £250M Human Capital Business at the age of 21. Ross leads the business from the front, working with his carefully selected team to plan, develop and implement game-changing campaigns and brand transformation projects for clients across the globe.
Alix Digital is a Digital Marketing Company, helping small to medium-sized businesses get the best results from their marketing budget. Alix Digital helps businesses get more leads/sales from their website through creating and maintaining PPC ads (Google and Bing), SEO, Content Writing and Paid and Organic Social Media campaigns. Alix Digital prides itself in getting the best results out of clients' budgets and consistently aims to improve clients' accounts through optimisation and frequent reporting, involving clients every step of the way. Alix provides regular classes on how to run Google Ads to educate local business owners.
Enbarr Enterprises Ltd & Enbarr Foundation CIC
Enbarr, under its owner Vicki Roskams, is a transformational and innovative community enabler. Best exemplified by its own transition from a ‘temporary recruitment business’ to a ‘full-service recruitment, training and upskilling’ model, delivering access, inclusion and sustainability of employment, for those who often find it most difficulty to gain employment. The Enbarr Foundation is a coalition of volunteers, social organisations, businesses and the public working together to transform the area. They bring local people, businesses and community organisations together to plan, develop and build the future of the community around the John Summers site, harnessing local people power and assets.
RCS is a leading not-for-profit organisation which has wellbeing at the heart of its activities. The company’s mission is to contribute to economic and social wellbeing in North Wales through helping more people enter, sustain and progress in employment. The 30-strong company works with individuals to promote the value of work for wellbeing, and works with employers to promote the business case for investing in employee wellbeing. Since its establishment in 2007, RCS has levered over £12m into the North Wales economy. The overall wellbeing value of its social impact has been calculated at over £35m.
Cobra Life CIC
Gavin’s mission is to teach young people vital life-skills. Homeless when he launched his business, he was determined to succeed. By day, he devised his business plan. By night, he looked for a bed. A 3rd Dan in karate, Gavin focused his business on martial arts, and on the philosophies at the root of martial arts – confidence, concentration, self-discipline etc. Alongside traditional techniques, he now teaches key sessions in life-skills, designed to help people who might find themselves in trouble. He now uses two unique programmes - Success for Life and Emergency Situation Management – to teach life-skills into local schools.
Forces Fitness is a Multi Award winning Company that's been operating since 2008. They are a Community focused company that delivers a number of products, such as Employability Boot camps that get individuals who are NEET back into work or further training to aid them into employment. Residential weekend Bootcamps, group training sessions and also their award winning health and well-being workshops that have been delivered to hundreds of schools and colleges all across the UK! They are also founders of the Veterans Awards!
Morgans Hair Beauty & Wigs
Morgans are a hair, beauty and wig salon. They offer a personal unique service from their salons. They are an NHS wig supplier for patients with medical hair loss conditions and those who lose their hair from cancer treatment. They offer a private empathetic service. They also employ a young lady with downs syndrome in their salon who soon will be training to be a hairdresser at level 1 and 2. They also work closely with the charity Look Good Feel Better, The Little Princess Trust, Macmillan and Alopecia UK. They have a wig bank at their salon.
West Wales Holiday Cottages
West Wales Holiday Cottages was established by father and son David and Matthew Witt in 2005 and advertises over 850 self-catering holiday cottages across Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire. The business was established to offer a flexible service to local cottage owners at competitive rates. West Wales Holiday Cottages has grown organically, never needing to advertise for owners – recommendations are made by word of mouth. The business’ ethos to support the local community has been at its core from the beginning and has developed year on year through donations to charities, food banks and supporting young people in rural West Wales.
And Inspire Me T/A Inspire Me
Inspire Me, owned by Andrea Callanan, have been inspiring people with music, creativity and positivity for 10 years. Established in 2008 originally as Sing & Inspire, they’ve been inspiring people and teams ever since. In 2014, with increasing customer demand, Inspire Me was born. Inspire Me offers corporate services with comprehensive solutions to your people development. They offer edgy engagement programmes, transformational training and unique teambuilding for your teams and organisations. They offer on brand offerings that use creativity, mindset, positive psychology and thought leadership to generate financial and emotional return on investment for businesses and their people.
Lavinia Stamps Ltd
Tracey Dutton founded Lavinia Stamps in 2007 along with her partner Kevin. Originally working from a spare room in her house. They have since moved three times increasing the size of premises each time. Tracey has a fascination for fairies, fantasy, flora and fauna. She hand draws and creates beautiful and mystical images that are transferred on to polymer stamps for the crafting industry. Their products are available on-line and from their new retail shop based in Ruthin. Their customer base is worldwide. They sell direct to end users and wholesale to specialist independent craft retailers.
North Wales Tourism
North Wales Tourism was established in 1991 to support the tourism industry in North Wales. Their mission is to showcase more business to maintain a sustainable tourism industry. North Wales Tourism is one of the UK’s leading tourism organisations and the largest membership organisation in the UK. Their excellent reputation and strengths are built on their focus on the region. Their knowledgeable team live and work in North Wales under the guidance of the MD Jim Jones. Throughout their life they’ve added value to the industry through core functions such as collaborative marketing, information and advisory services and distribution.
W2 Global Data Solutions Ltd
The W2 API provides businesses with fast and integrated access to a comprehensive set of data for mandatory Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) compliance checks and a variety of other business enabling checks such as address, age and biometric validation. The W2 solution simplifies data integration, enabling their clients to combine all internal, external and third-party data to create a better responsive model tuned to their organisation's needs.
Scrubadub cleaning is coming into its 10th year in January 2020, established by Louis Hiatt with the intention of window cleaning to earn a living to support his family. It has found a niche in being an all under one roof service for home owners and business owners alike. Scrubadub now offers an in house laundry service including hire of linen and towels through two shops. They are the one stop cleaning shop.
Filter It Out
Filter It Out was founded by Hywel Phillips, a service engineer with over 25 years’ experience working with, installing and supplying water pumps and water filtration systems for various types of properties and businesses. Since being made redundant due to company collapse mid-2012, Hywel decided that there was enough call to set up Filter It Out in November 2012. Hywel Phillips is a hard worker and a keen engineer who thrives on designing and developing water systems that benefits the customer and environment.
Andrew started his first video business back in 2003 after a successful career in financial services. His change of direction was inspired by his father-in-law’s sixtieth birthday, Andrew filmed and edited a video that was very well received by all. This opened up Andrew’s creative side and he started producing wedding videos. After a few years he decided to find out what he didn’t know. After completing a film and video degree he was asked to stay on and teach and in turn completed a PGCe. F9 Films was created in 2016 to focus on producing videos for SMEs.
The Sugar Den
The Sugar Den was set up by Tracey and Russ back in September 2017, the vision had been in Tracey's head for a few years and once the perfect venue was found, the business opened and soon boomed to become a popular venue for families and the community. The Sugar Den provides a café area specialising in milkshakes, crepes and waffles and sweets for people of all ages. They are also seen as a craft activities/ workshop venue for children. Alongside this, they are a designated party venue for children with over 10 different themed parties.
Three years ago, Marcus Copeland had a clear vision and set out to disrupt the sports club clothing market by creating a custom sportswear brand that would offer a cost effective bespoke clothing solution that could rival the major sports brands for quality and service. Marcus also wanted to achieve something that no other North Wales sportswear brand had done before – to design and manufacture in Wales and deliver products to the client within three weeks of an order being placed. This became Exile Sportswear, and immediately offered something that sports clubs hadn’t experienced before.