The Caerphilly-based Welsh Innovation Centre for Enterprise (Welsh ICE) has appointed a new Community Outreach Director.
Lesley Williams, who joined Welsh ICE in 2019 as its Community Outreach Manager, will now be responsible for leading the start-up business hub’s outreach strategy.
Since working for ICE, Ms Williams has been responsible for the 5-9 Club, which is based out of ICE’s campus on Caerphilly Business Park and is designed to support people into starting their own businesses outside of work hours.
In its first two years, the 5-9 Club has supported 228 people, with more than 100 businesses being set up through the scheme.
Speaking about her new role, Ms Williams said: “As the 5-9 programme grew, I’ve had more opportunities to work with the board and expand on my vision for ICE.
“Thanks to the support of the team around me, we’ve been able to widen our outreach programmes to a position where it helps us support more and more individuals, but also grows our revenue and our list of partners and stakeholders.
“There are still a number of communities out there that are underrepresented in the world of entrepreneurship, and I’m pleased to say that this new role will give me the licence to continue making enterprise a freeing force across Wales and beyond.”
Through her work Lesley has also been recognised for her outstanding contribution to equality and is a finalist in the Gender Equality Champion category at the Chwarae Teg Womenspire Awards 2021.
Welsh ICE CEO Jamie McGowan, described Ms Williams as an “incredible leader and role model”.
- Council continues to face calls for day care centres to return to pre-pandemic hours
- Father-of-two to run London Marathon to support liver disease charity
- Chief Medical Officer urges pregnant women to take up vaccine offer
- Three-time Super League winner Flower announces rugby league retirement
- Teen braves 700m zipwire challenge in memory of late best friend
He said: “When Lesley first joined us roughly two years ago, I knew her warm personality and business experience would see her grow into the outreach role. However she has surpassed our targets and then some – and I’m delighted to welcome her to the board.
“Lesley is an incredible leader and role model and every one of the hundreds of individuals she has supported through the 5-9 programme will attest to that.
“Her vision for the future of ICE’s outreach partnerships and programmes is ambitious, but with the support of her team, I have no doubt she will continue to set the standard others aspire to achieve.”
Welsh ICE is one of five regional enterprise hubs across Wales, all funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government.
The hubs will see over £4m invested to provide supportive spaces and mentoring for new and growing businesses, with the ICE Campus supporting the South East Wales Valleys region.
Stay informed with quality, independent, local journalism…that matters
We believe the public should be informed about their community, coherently and with context. However, running a professional news service comes at a financial cost.
We are asking readers for their support to help us develop and grow our service.
Our membership costs from just £3 a month and in return, you can use our website without adverts.
Become a member – cancel anytime