Following the launch of the Entrepreneur Wales Awards, we spoke Dr. Jonathon Deacon, senior academic at the University of South Wales, who has come on board as one of the judging panel.

“Entrepreneurs are important to not just our economy but every economy. Entrepreneurs are the starting place for new and innovative ideas, they take risks, which larger firms tend not to do. And, of course, little firms have a habit, if they’re really good at being little firms, of turning into slightly larger firms. And when they do that, they employ lots of people. And when people are employed, it means that all of those salaries and those wages then go back through the system and creates, what we would all love, a buoyant economy.”

But what gives Wales an entrepreneurial edge over its neighbours? It has a lot to do with geography, Dr. Deacon thinks. He said: “The first thing is the obvious one and that is infrastructure. Here in Wales we have a great infrastructure. We’ve got good rail links to London and therefore the rest of the world, we’ve got good motorway links, we’ve got good road systems. There are a few little areas that could be improved but by and large it’s looking pretty good.

“The other thing that Wales has got going for it is that wherever you work in Wales, you’re not very far from some of the most beautiful countryside in the world. And that means that our work-life balance is pretty good. When you have a good work-life balance, like our Scandinavian cousins for instance, when you get that balance right it means that you’re probably more creative, you’re more productive and you’re happier in what you do – three things that are actually pretty good for being entrepreneurial.

“The other aspect about Wales what I think is important is that we’re a small country. So everybody really does know everyone else and when you’re in business you’re looking for some advice, assistance or an opening in to a new market somebody somewhere will know someone who can open that door for you.”