About the 2020 Wales Fast Growth 50 list

After twenty two years of identifying the fastest growing firms in Wales, this unique initiative is firmly established as the list of business success that entrepreneurs across Wales aspire to. Every year, it is a constant remainder of the vast entrepreneurial potential that exists within the Welsh business sector, with growth performance by businesses that is as good as any to be found across the regions of the UK.

In 2020, the year that none of us will ever forget, I had considered carefully whether the annual search for the fastest growing firms in Wales should be cancelled. Certainly, it became obvious that we could not hold the annual awards dinner which is one of the highlights of the Welsh business calendar every year.

However, as the economy battles to emerge from recession, it is clear that we need more than ever to celebrate the creativity, innovation and sheer determination of the best of Welsh businesses, something that was clearly emphasised by those many firms that, despite the lockdown we suffered earlier this year, wanted to be considered for the Wales Fast Growth 50.

Like other businesses across Wales, the majority of those featured on the 2020 list had been hit hard by the lockdown in March and yet they have survived, recovered and, more importantly have started growing again, with a number registering their best quarter of trading during the summer.

They have made significant changes to the way they operate over the last few months, becoming more flexible in the approach to delivering to customers.

Some that were already delivering their services online have been able to make a seamless transition to working from home with the majority of services minimally affected. Others have pivoted their business in the face of reduced trade to establish a wholly new enterprise that is already achieved incredible growth.

This demonstrates yet again that despite considerable setbacks, fast growing firms will continue to make a significant contribution to sectors and communities across Wales.

Therefore, this year has not been easy for any business in Wales including those on the Fast Growth 50 list. Indeed, the decline in sales of many businesses in 2020 could mean that we have a very different list of firms next year although it worth noting that after the last recession when nearly 90,000 jobs were lost across the private sector in Wales and markets were drying up, the 2010 Fast Growth 50 list bucked the trend, creating 1400 new jobs and increasing their sales by an incredible £305 million between 2007 and 2009.

Hopefully, we will see the same in 2021 as the Wales Fast Growth 50 continues to be a shining beacon of the best that Wales has to offer. Certainly, we should all be proud of the success of those businesses that have made the list since 1999 and especially to the fifty firms which are the fastest growing firms in Wales in 2020. I wish them all every success for the future.

Professor Dylan Jones-Evans OBE, founder of the Wales Fast Growth 50