By Claire West

Paul Ragan, the star of Channel 4 TV’s ‘Secret Millionaire’, was recognised for his contribution to Welsh business at last night’s 2010 South Wales Business Awards.

Mr Ragan, whose company ‘Collateral Thinking provides free business mentoring, received the honorary award for his outstanding ‘Contribution to South Wales Business’.

Mr Ragan, who owns the Cardiff Devils Ice Hockey team, is a stakeholder in twenty companies and is a significant employer in the South Wales region.

“At the moment it is more important than ever that we create a positive environment for business start-ups to succeed and new businesses to grow,” said Mr Ragan today.

He created Collateral Thinking, with two fellow directors, in 2009 to offer a free mentoring service to entrepreneurs and business leaders to help fast track their ongoing development.

“Many successful start ups and businesses peak then fall simply due to lack of knowledge and ineffective corporate governance. Despite the existence of a number of business support organisations, it’s often a case of ‘too little, too late’ as advice is commonly fraught with delays,” he said.

Mr Ragan is also a fundraiser for several charities including The Princess Royal Trust for Carers which is a cause close to his own heart.

He was a child carer himself and looked after his own mother, who suffered from schizophrenia, from the age of five until 10 on a Sheffield council estate.

The South Wales Business Awards are sponsored by Lloyds TSB, Centre of Enterprise at the University of Glamorgan and Careers Wales. Mr Ragan was presented with his award by popular Welsh television presenter Sara Edwards at the Bear Hotel, Cowbridge.