The best businesses and entrepreneurs across the Swansea Bay city region have been revealed.
The 2019 Swansea Bay Business Awards were held at the Brangwyn Hall with an audience of nearly 400 gathered to celebrate business success from start-up firms through to larger coprorates.
Presented by Frances Donovan in all there were 16 awards, with the overall sponsor being leading regional accountancy firm Bevan Buckland.
The overall Business of the Year Award winner — chosen from all the category winners — was Swansea-based Cyden, which also took the International Business Award.
Cyden designs and manufactures IPL (intense pulsed light) hair removal products for use in the home. The Swansea-based company begun its life making devices for professional salons.
(Image: Jonathan Myers)
From launching the first IPL hair removal device in the UK with the retailer Boots, its products are now distributed to more than 30 firms worldwide.
It recently opened its first overseas office in Tokyo.
It has also brought manufacturing back to Swansea from the Far East.
(Image: Jonathan Myers)
There was also a special Lifetime Achievement Award to managing director of Llanelli-based transport and logistics firm Owens Road Services, Huw Owen, for his outstanding contribution to business and the regional economy, as well as his huge contribution to charities and good causes.
He set up the business with just one lorry in 1970, before being joined by his brother Eurof, who is the firm’s commercial director.
Now the family-run business is firmly established as one of the UK’s leading players in the UK transport and warehousing sector with a workforce of 800 and 550 trucks and vans. Last year it acquired Manchester-based BTS Haulage. The group now has a turnover of more than £100m.
(Image: Jonathan Myers)
Managing partner of Bevan Buckland, Alison Vickers, said: “This year’s awards clearly demonstrate the quality and strength of business of entrepreneurship, across a wide range of sectors, in the Swansea Bay City Region.
"It was an extremely difficult task selecting the category winners, such was the quality of the entries. We hope that the winners will inspire a new generation of businesses across the region to follow in their footsteps in creating new investment and jobs."
Editor of the South Wales Evening Post, Jonathan Roberts, said: “South Wales continues to enjoy jobs and investment, despite the many headwinds against us.
"We should rightly highlight the innovation, creativity and determination that runs through our business community.
"For many firms, this has been a period of growth and expansion, and their continuing support for local communities has made a real and lasting difference to the lives of many.
"This year's Swansea Bay Business Awards again provided a perfect platform to acknowledge and celebrate that success, by recognising those business brands who prove that rewards do exist for companies with the right vision, and the exceptional leadership to execute it.
The award judging panel consisted of Ms Vickers from Bevan Buckland; Jem Skelding from Naissance, last year’s overall business of the year, Woman of the Year 2018 Karen Hewitt from Character.com; Lisa Cameron, Commercial Managing Director of Media Wales, and Sion Barry, Business Editor for Media Wales.
Guess speaker at the awards was former Welsh rugby international turned explorer Richard Parks, while leader of Swansea Council, Rob Stewart gave an update on the region’s £1.3bn City Deal, in particular the property and leisure investment projects for Swansea.
The winners in full
Social Enterprise of the Year, sponsored by Nuwave, Coastal.
Green Business of the Year, sponsored by Securahome, Power & Water.
Entrepreneur of the Year, sponsored by Greenaway Scott, Call of the Wild.
International Business of the Year, sponsored by LTC Mobility, Cyden.
Best Business Start Up, sponsored by Business in Focus, Netcrate.
Young Business Person the Year, sponsored by the University of Wales Trinity St David, Scott James of Coaltown Coffee.
Apprenticeship Development Award, sponsored by AB Glass, WRW Construction.
Manufacturing Business of the Year, sponsored by Astute 2020, Teddington Engineered Solutions.
Tourism and Hospitality Business of the Year, sponsored by Westacres, Bluestone.
Innovation Award, sponsored by Leather Sofa Company, Vortex IoT.
Family Business of the Year, sponsored by Homestore Interiors, Tomos Watkin Brewery.
Business of the Year (0-25 employees), sponsored by NPTC Group of Colleges, SA1 Solutions.
Business of the Year (26 to 149 employees), sponsored by JCP Solicitors, Hale Construction.Business of the Year (150 plus employees), sponsored by Gower College Swansea, Dyfed Steels.
Lifetime Achievement Award, sponsored by Swansea Bay Business Club, Huw Owens.