Fast Growth 50 2009 launched

At a time when the country is suffering the deepest recession since the Second World War, I am proud to launch the Wales Fast Growth 50 again to demonstrate the best of Welsh business.

The launch video with Sion Barry of the Western Mail can be found here

At a time when the Welsh economy is suffering, I believe that the Wales Fast Growth 50 remains as the most visible reminder of the enterprise and innovation that still exists within our business sector. Despite these difficult times, there are still Welsh companies which are taking advantage of opportunities in the marketplace, creating wealth and employment within their local communities.

The impact of a small group of companies should not be underestimated. Since we started with the first publication in 1999, 317 firms have appeared on the ten lists published in the Western Mail. As with all dynamic economies, some businesses have fallen by the wayside. However, it is estimated that, together, these fast growth companies have created around 15,000 jobs and have generated around £3.8 billion of additional turnover into the Welsh economy, much of which is spent on local goods and services.

First published by the Western Mail in 1999, this unique initiative has become firmly established as the list of business success which entrepreneurs across Wales aspire. Up to now, the list has been limited to SMEs – those employing less than 250 employees - but after a decade, I have decided to change the criteria to include all Welsh business, regardless of size.

When we first started the project eleven years ago, the main focus of policymakers in Government was to attract large inward investors to Wales and the small firm sector was largely ignored. That is why we set up this project – to highlight the best of small businesses in Wales. However, I believe that during these recessionary times, we need to celebrate businesses of all sizes and, therefore, for the first time since the project started, I am encouraging every Welsh business to apply for this year’s Fast Growth 50 project.”

The 2009 list of the fastest growing firms in Wales will appear in a special supplement, sponsored by the University of Wales’ Global Academy, which will be published by the Western Mail on Wednesday, November 4th 2009.

There will also be a special dinner which will take place at the Holland House Hotel on October 30th 2009. Awards will be presented to the fastest growing firms in each of the key sectors of the Welsh economy, as well as individual awards for sustainable long term growth and, of course, the fastest growing firm in Wales.

This exclusive event, open to only the category sponsors and the fast growth firms, has become one of the most prestigious in the Welsh business calendar and, yet again, it promises to be a showcase of the best of Welsh enterprise for all attending.

Unlike many other business award ceremonies, it will highlight the best of Welsh growth firms from all parts of the nation and from all sectors. More importantly, the winning businesses will not be assessed by any individual judges but by their performance in the marketplace and their growth in sales during the last three years. The award sponsors will be announced in the Western Mail later this month.

To qualify for the Fast Growth 50 2009 competition, firms should:

- Be independent and privately held.
- Had sales of at least £250,000 in 2006
- Be based in Wales

Rankings will be based on percentage growth of revenues from 2006 to 2008.
The closing date for entries is July 10th 2009.

For further information, contact

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