In her column for Caerphilly Observer, businesswoman and Welsh ICE director Mandy Weston takes a look at current business news.
I was delighted to see Brace’s Bakery chairman Ernest Brace included in the Queen’s birthday honours list from Buckingham Palace this month.
At 91-years-old, and the third generation to run the Blackwood company since it was founded by his grandfather George in 1902, Ernest will receive an OBE for his life’s work and his commitment to the local community.
Launched more than a century ago using a family loan and as a part-time venture, I can’t think of a more deserving recipient, or indeed a better example for any would-be entrepreneurs based in Caerphilly County to aspire to.
Appropriately, the news comes in light of a May 2013 report from the Prime Minister’s enterprise adviser Lord Young, entitled ‘Growing Your Business’, which claims small businesses are proving increasingly important to Britain’s economy.
Here in Caerphilly these sentiments are certainly in evidence not least at Welsh ICE, which celebrates its first year in business this month with news more than 50 businesses are now based at the centre.
In other words 100 jobs have been created that were not available in the area 12 months ago, and 500 businesses and 3,000 jobs could feasibly be created using the same model by 2018.
To celebrate, we are looking forward to welcoming the Economy Minister to an official launch event at Welsh ICE next Thursday evening, arrangements for which are making for a busy atmosphere in the meantime!
Of course, the bulk of recognition must go to our member businesses, whose success ultimately comes down to each proprietor having the strength and determination to go it alone.
Because without this kind of attitude who would provide future employment for our future generations, who will be the next major contributors to our local economy, and where would our next wave of entrepreneurs come from?
It’s probably not something George Brace though about too much when he spotted a gap in the market all those years ago and subsequently founded a household brand name in the process, and look what his family achieved!
Elsewhere, I also attended the launch of this year’s Caerphilly Business Awards recently, which has some great categories as usual, including New Business of the Year and Young Business of the Year.
The closing date for entries is September 20, with more information available at www.cbforum.co.uk