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Welsh business heroes gear up for the UK grand final of FSB

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, who spanned a diverse spectrum, from a groundbreaking prosthetics company to a sheep and flower farm, is the UK grand final at Blackpool’s Winter Gardens on Thursday 9 May, 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. 

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.

The Franchise Business Award was won by My Window Cleaner Cardiff City and The Vale Limited, and their owner, Oli Ford, said: “As a small business owner, it’s easy to be very head down and forget to reflect on your achievements. So, it’s been lovely to win FSB’s Franchise Business Award for Wales and acknowledge the hard work we’ve put into flourishing.

“Part of our mission is to be more than just a standard window cleaning company, and we’re keen advocates of how customer care leads to customer retention. All our staff are trained to offer a hands-on, reliable and personable service with impeccable attention to detail. 

“We strive to go above and beyond to positively impact our clients and local communities, from moving a plant pot for an elderly person, helping to bring a food shop in, assisting charities with their donation collections, or sprucing up nearby street signage.

“It’s been really enlightening to connect with so many like-minded owners at the Wales ceremony. The countdown is now on for the UK final!”

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. 

“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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The full list of winners from Wales is:  

  • Innovation Award: LIMB-art Ltd
  • Expansion & Growth Award: Net World Sports
  • Sustainability Award: 9Trees
  • Micro Business Award: 9Trees
  • Family Business Award: Blas ar Fwyd
  • Self-Employed / Freelancer Award: Katherine Jones, Artist
  • Start-up Business Award: HJH Commercial Consultants
  • Young Entrepreneur Award: Ellen Firth – Firth Flock Flowers
  • Franchise Business Award: My Window Cleaner Cardiff City and The Vale Ltd
  • Community Award: The Hideout Community Ltd. 
  • Diversity & Inclusion Award: Be.Xcellence CIC
  • Service Excellence Award: Brook Cottage Shepherd Huts