Posts Tagged ‘business in Wales’

Simon Powell, Eysys

It was our last Breakfast Club of the season and we were joined by established Welsh entrepreneur, Simon Powell. Simon is currently the chairman and investor of four businesses in the travel and technology sectors, as well as the Managing Director of Powell Property Developments LTD, Founder of and CEO of Comtec Group. He has a wealth of experience, not only in setting up successful businesses, but also in turning around struggling businesses.

Simon began by stressing that, when setting up a business, it’s important to define what people want from it in terms of success. From something small and simple like running a successful corner shop to owning a fast car or becoming a billionaire, he believes that success is relative and what is most important is that people can define what it means to them and have a chance of achieving it.

He went on to list the things that he has done throughout his business career that most helped him to achieve his own success, in particular sharing equity. Simon recommended Finance Wales as an investor, but also advised potential entrepreneurs to share equity with their employees; “I think it is important to share equity, not just with financial institutions…but with the teams that are going to drive things.”

Simon also emphasised the importance of putting together a strong team to work together on the business, and making decisions quickly, fixing any wrong ones as soon as possible. He admitted that there are ‘no straight roads in business’ and that there will be bad days, but the important thing is to remain focused. He sees that his role in all of his businesses is to create opportunities, push through decisions, and make and maintain relationships.

Evidence of Simon’s theories being put into practice can be seen in his recent reacquisition of Comtec in October 2014. After a loss of £5m last year, the business is now projecting an Ebitda of £1.4m for this year.Breakfast Club

Simon is passionate about finding the next generation of talented young people to work in technology and highlighted the importance of working with schools to help inspire children to pursue a career within the tech industry. In particular, he talked about the huge potential within Wales and Welsh schools to produce skilled tech professionals, but emphasised the fact that not enough is being done to achieve this with current tech courses not tailored to business.

Simon concluded his talk by encouraging graduates who are thinking about setting up their own businesses to go for it, stating that there is lots of funding available and that “if you’re passionate and committed, you can do it”.

Dates and speakers for the autumn will be announced soon. For further information and booking details, please contact or phone 02920 549597.


220px-Cardiff_Airport_(Oct_2010)Very pleased to read in today’s Western Mail that passenger numbers are up year on year at Cardiff Airport.  After years of numbers declining this is very positive news as Chief Executive Jon Home acknowledges.

It is common sense to see what is happening, in that if you give passengers more choice of flight destinations they will support the airport. It’s also exciting to think that Vueling may increase its flights from Cardiff as the owner of the airline International Airlines Group Chief Executive Willie Walsh has stated that he wants Vueling to compete with Easyjet and RyanAir.

This news, together with the submission by the Welsh Gateway Group for Cardiff Airport to become a ‘hub’ to Heathrow which is mentioned again in today’s Mail by Martin Evans, gives me hope that the future of Cardiff Airport may be a lot brighter than 12 months ago when the very future of the airport was in doubt.

It is vital for the future of Cardiff and its region to have a fully connected airport on its doorstep.  Let’s hope today’s news is not just a flash in the pan!

AH-002-Cardiff-BayIt gave me the greatest of pleasure to read the various headlines in Sion Barry’s excellent ‘Business in Wales’ section of today’s Western Mail.

‘Christmas sales jump 13% at John Lewis’, ‘484,224 businesses started in 2012, 10% more than in 2011’, ‘Welsh firms (not fims!!) growing in confidence says Lloyds’ and ‘Manufacturing returns to growth with highest output for 15 months’.

Would it not be wonderful for these positive signs about the economy to continue to raise confidence about 2013 and indicate perhaps that we, at last, are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel?

As further proof of the positive times ahead, the only advertisement on Sion’s pages was to announce next week’s Cardiff Breakfast Club (which we organise by the way!), where Graeme Yorston, Chief Executive of the Principality Group will address the members on the following topic; “2013; Reasons to be cheerful”.  If you want to come, please contact Sally on or 02920 549597.FE_DA_RecessionOver_0921425x283

Let’s hope that the optimism shown by Graeme and all those who contributed to Sion’s articles in today’s Western Mail is realised and that, in 2013, we really will see the economy in the UK, and importantly here in Wales, start to motor once again. 

A report published this week from the Micro-Business task and finish Group commissioned by Business Minister Edwina Hart shows clearly what many small business owners already know: that there is way too much bureaucracy surrounding current procedures for micro-businesses to tender for public sector work.

Business Minister Edwina Hart

Micro-businesses, like mine, account for 94.5% of all businesses in Wales and provide a third of private sector employment; some 331,400 jobs. If we were to be helped and encouraged to take on just one extra member of staff the result would be huge for Wales and for our economy.

I applaud both the authors of the report, chaired by Robert Lloyd Griffiths, and the Minister, who has agreed to “take forward” the recommendations and confirmed that a draft implementation plan would be published soon. I for one will be reading it with great personal interest.