Throughout 2017, LDC is searching the entrepreneurial heartlands of Wales, Scotland and England as part of its Backing Business Ambition tour, to uncover and showcase Britain's most inspiring and ambitious businesses.
Wales is bustling with enterprise. Last year, official statistics showed that the country was home to almost 240,000 small and medium-sized businesses, a new record for the region.
Small and medium sized businesses now employ more than a million people, which shows the scale of their growth ambition.
Among the plucky firms that are growing and creating jobs are Radnor Hills, the bottled water and soft drinks company, aviation specialist AerFin, and water treatment firm Hydro Industries.
Hailing from a variety of sectors, these midmarket companies are all demonstrating significant innovation.
For Wayne Preece, boss of Hydro, being a unique technology company in the region has its benefits: “We get a lot of ambitious people off the back of that,” he says. “People want to work somewhere meaningful and our projects, such as taking drinking water to Sudan, give people a real purpose and mean they have passion for what they do.”
There is no shortage of talent in Wales either, according to AerFin’s Bob James. “Wales has a good pool of skilled staff because of the universities and the local colleges that have geared up to support big employers like British Airways,” he says.
They also love being part of the local economy. “Being based here in rural mid Wales, where you are by your nature a large employer comparatively, you become a part of the community in a way that you wouldn’t be in an urban environment,” notes Radnor Hills founder William Watkins.
“We have a number of generations of different families working for us.”
All three companies have set ambitious revenue goals and are unfazed by the prospect of Brexit and other socio-political unrest at home.Backing Business Ambition 2017