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Welsh business heroes gear up for UK final of business awards


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The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) recognised the brightest and best entrepreneurs from Wales at the FSB Celebrating Small Business Awards 2024. The next stop for this year’s Welsh winners, which spanned a diverse spectrum, is the UK grand final at Blackpool’s Winter Gardens on Thursday, May 9, where they will compete for the top honours.

From sustainability to innovation, family businesses to start-ups, all the winners were honoured for their achievements over the last 12 months as they came together to, not only receive their awards, but to inspire one another for the year ahead.

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Now in its 50th year, FSB stands proud as the UK’s largest membership organisation for small businesses and the self-employed, and these awards help highlight the invaluable contributions made by these businesses to the UK economy and champions their journey as entrepreneurs.

Wales winner of the Expansion & Growth Award was Wrexham-based Net World Sports. The company is dedicated to transforming the sports equipment landscape.

Alex Lovén MBE, Net World Sports founder and CEO, said: “It was fantastic to receive the Expansion and Growth award for Wales. Being recognised for our continuous success is a testament to the dedication and hard work of our team here in Wrexham. We’re thrilled by this acknowledgement and look forward to attending the UK finals in the coming weeks.”

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Taking the Start-up Business Award in Wales was HJH Commercial Consultants, based in Deeside, Flintshire.

The company has transformed from a modest start-up with a single employee to a thriving enterprise boasting a team of more than 20 dedicated people. Their journey is not just a story of growth; it’s a testament to innovation, commitment, social values and the relentless pursuit of excellence in the commercial consulting and contracting arena.

A spokesperson said: “We are thrilled to have won the Start-Up Business Award for Wales. We are a quantity surveying consultancy who solely work alongside civil engineering and utility contractors nationwide.

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“We established in 2022 and have grown the business to a team of 25 with a projected turnover of £1.4m in year three. This achievement reflects our collective commitment to a more sustainable future for North Wales.

“We are supporting local initiatives and charities within North Wales and social value is a major focal point for our business in 2024.”

Mike Learmond, FSB’s senior development manager for Wales, added: “Our Welsh finals celebrated spectacular businesses right across Wales. Many of these businesses are challenged by the infrastructure of their geographic location, and all have been thoroughly tested by the market conditions of recent years.

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“The cost of doing business has risen significantly, and we heard stories of how this has impacted our finalists across the board. Many of us expected a recovery period after the pandemic, and what we’ve seen has been anything but that. It was great to put those challenges to one side and celebrate the tenacity and ingenuity of our community in Wales.

“The small business ecosystem in this country is not just powerful but also incredibly supportive. It was fantastic to see our entrepreneurs be so generous with their time and expertise to support and encourage each other at this year’s event. We’re all hoping to see some Welsh winners at the UK finals in Blackpool.”

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