The very best in Welsh entrepreneurs were celebrated on Thursday night at the first ever Entrepreneur Wales Awards, sponsored by Business Wales, Welsh Government, held in the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.

In a real show of strength, the 17 awards were won by a different entrepreneur. Andy Ling, founder of West Wales-based clean tech company, Perpetual V2G Systems had a successful night, winning the 'Accelerated Growth Entrepreneur of the Year' award and coming runner-up in the 'Micro Business Entrepreneur of the Year' and 'Eco Entrepreneur of the Year' awards.

Presenting the 'Accelerated Growth Entrepreneur of the Year' award, Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism, Ken Skates, told every shortlisted entrepreneur in the room that "In the war against poverty, you are our generals".

Highlighting the parallels between business and sport, co-host Tom Shanklin, Wales' most-capped rugby union centre turned businessman, introduced some of the sporting stars in the room. Entrepreneur Wales Awards co-founder and former Wales international Alix Popham, former Cardiff Blues flanker Xavier Rush, Ospreys prop Cai Griffiths, former Dragons wing Nathan Brew and former Wales captain Gareth Thomas.

Following the All Blacks' Rugby World Cup success, the entrepreneurs were even treated to a special haka from Kiwi Xavier Rush in the name of charity for Ty Hafan.


Accelerated Growth Entrepreneur of the Year - Andy Ling, Perpetual V2G SystemsRetail Entrepreneur of the Year - Jack Brooks, Pieces for PlacesEco Entrepreneur of the Year - Glen Peters, Western SolarManufacturing Entrepreneur of the Year - Jo Ashburner, Red Dragon ManufacturingSocial Enterprise Entrepreneur of the Year - Caroline Locke, Spotless RecruitmentService Industries Entrepreneur of the Year - Gemma Richards, SA FlyersCreative Industries Entrepreneur of the Year - Lisa Tobia, Tobia DesignTechnology Entrepreneur of the Year - Richard Theo, Active QuoteYoung Entrepreneur of the Year (25 & under) - Callum Griffiths, Clydach PoultryYoung Entrepreneur of the Year (26-30) - Rachel Flanagan, Mrs Bucket Cleaning ServicesSmall Business Entrepreneur of the Year - Rachel Bedgood, Complete Background ScreeningStart-up Entrepreneur of the Year - Shelley Redding, Action PetzMicro Business Entrepreneur of the Year - Darren Thomas, Pedalcover InsuranceExpat Entrepreneur of the Year - David Buttress, Just EatFood & Drink Entrepreneur of the Year - James Shepherd, Aberffraw Biscuit Co.Fashion Entrepreneur of the Year - Marc Brown, Sporting HaresEntrepreneurs' Champion - Gareth Jones, Welsh ICE