Rewarding the shining lights in Welsh business

Announcing the winners of the inaugural IWA & Western Mail Business Awards 2011

Young Achiever – Rachael Flanagan

Rachael Flanagan founded Swansea-based Mrs Bucket Cleaning Services at the age of 18, armed with a vacuum cleaner and some flyers.

Today her cleaning business employs more than 70 staff and offers both domestic and commercial cleaning.

This year the business launched a new cleaning academy to train new staff to its standards. It has also branched out into Cardiff and Bristol and is in the process of creating a network of UK Mrs Bucket franchises.

New Start-Up Company of the Year – Direct Healthcare Services

Caerphilly-based Direct Healthcare Services began trading in April, 2009 and provides specialist mattresses, cushions and overlays for the healthcare sector.

As well as driving impressive revenue growth in the UK, it is now focusing on the lucrative export market.

Company of the Year <£10m – Biotec Services International

Biotec Services International based in Bridgend was formed in 1997. Last year it employed 45 people and made £687,474 profit on sales of £7.4m.

Biotec provides international clinical trial services supporting the pharmaceutical industry. It specialises in the import, qualified person certification, labelling, assembly, storage and worldwide distribution of clinical trials supplies.

The company is a niche player in its market and says it is recognised as a global leader in cold chain pharmaceutical services.

Go Green Environmental – The National Trust

The National Trust is well known for caring for historic buildings and natural landscapes across the UK (except Scotland). In Wales it looks after 225km of coastline, 18 fine houses, castles, gardens and industrial heritage sites and 45,000 hectares of land.

The organisation, which has many hard-to-heat buildings, has set itself targets of 20% reduction in energy use and 60% generation from renewables, both by 2013.

It has unrolled a programme of replacing oil tanks, installing reedbed water treatment systems, and putting in place biomass heaters, heat pumps, photovoltaic and solar thermal systems.

Creative Marketing – Nolan UPVC

Carmarthen-based Nolan has run a marketing campaign featuring its Nolan Panda and the “Not made in China, made in Wales” strapline.

The company created a competition run via Facebook and Twitter in which visitors were able to watch a video and work out the answer to the question “Who lives in a panda costume like this?”

The competition received more than 1,500 entries and led to a substantial increase in traffic to the company’s website and increased sales leads.

Excellence in eCommerce – Monmouthshire Building Society

Newport-headquartered building society, the Monmouthshire Building Society, has invested heavily in its online presence in recent years. Its e-commerce initiatives have helped to increase its UK market share in the key business areas of mortgages and savings.

Its innovations include an online “mortgage decision in principle” application as well as allowing customers to vote online at annual general meetings.

Training and Developing Staff Award – The Royal Mint

The Royal Mint in Llantrisant is one of Wales best-known employers – producing everything from coins to Olympic medals. It became a limited company last year.

The Mint has invested in leadership development, creating tailored plans to develop its team leaders. It has also introduced an engineering apprenticeship scheme, with its first apprentices graduating this year.

Entrepreneur of the Year – Roy Allkin

Serial entrepreneur and Ammanford-born Roy Allkin set up Swansea-based translation and language services firm Wolfestone in 2006 with co-director Anna Bastek.

Using innovative software technology the business, which has a global team of translators, allows clients to see the progress in real time of translation work, including technical documents.

Next year the business is looking to achieve a 100% turnover growth rate – with longer-term a plan to exit via a sale or possible flotation.

Company of the Year >£10 – GE Aviation

GE Aviation Wales is one of the nation’s biggest manufacturing employers and overhauls aircraft engines for more than 80 leading global airlines.

The company operates a huge 1.2m square-metre facility at Nantgarw, and employs a workforce of 1,200.

Last year, the company generated revenues of £1.2bn, with profits of more than £40m.

It hopes to see turnover top the £1.5bn mark in the current year.

Copy written by Rhodri Evans

One thought on “Rewarding the shining lights in Welsh business

  1. A great cause for the future of the Welsh economy, but can I assume that Trinity Mirror were not short-listed?

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