After eighteen 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.
At a time when the Welsh economy in uncertain because of Brexit, the publication of the 2015 Fast Growth 50 list is again a timely reminder of the talent, perseverance and hard work of those Welsh entrepreneurs creating wealth and employment in all parts of Wales. Since it was first launched in 1999, the Wales Fast Growth 50 has become firmly established as the award that entrepreneurial businesses in Wales aspire to, with a record number of entries for this year’s competition from every sector of the economy.
In Wales, we are often slow to applaud the performance of individual businesses in Wales, but the fifty firms that make up every year’s list are more than worthy of praise. To be described as one of the fifty fastest growing firms in Wales out of a business population of 230,000 is an achievement that should be widely recognised.
But the most important aspect of this project is the impact that the businesses featured on the Fast Growth 50 firms featured have had on Wales. Since 1999, the 551 firms that have appeared on the seventeen lists have created over 34,000 jobs and generate an estimated £18 billion of additional turnover annually, much of which is spent in their local area.
The supplement was originally as a one off list of the fastest growing firms in Wales but it has just continued year after year. To be honest, I still am amazed at the high level of interest by Welsh entrepreneurs in the Fast Growth 50 programme and every year, we get record numbers of applications for places on the list.
Of course, the biggest kick from the project is when owner-managers come up to me and say that being part of the Fast Growth 50 has enable them to win new business, enter new markets, get more favourable terms with suppliers, and access business support programmes. That is the most important part of the Wales Fast Growth 50 programme – that it not only recognises the best in Wales but makes a tangible difference to the performance of these businesses. That is what makes the whole effort in putting the list together every year worthwhile.
Professor Dylan Jones-Evans OBE, founder of the Wales Fast Growth 50