Cross Party Group on Small Shops Holds Second Evidence Session in Supporting Entrepreneurs Inquiry

The Supporting Entrepreneurship Inquiry held its second evidence session in the National Assembly for Wales on 7th March, taking evidence directly from a range of Welsh Entrepreneurs and business organisations.

The Supporting Entrepreneurship Inquiry explores the breadth and depth of the contribution that different types of entrepreneur make to the Welsh economy, looking at how to support these entrepreneurs to grow, invest and secure their long-term future. The Inquiry is especially relevant in the current climate as thousands of businesses are dealing with increases in their rates bills, changes to their business rate relief and increases in employment costs.

Janet Finch Saunders AM, Chair of the Cross Party Group on Small Shops said: “This Inquiry is essential in examining how we can help to promote and support entrepreneurs across Wales. By exploring how we can ensure people have the skills, knowledge and resources to turn business ideas into reality, we can really make a huge difference to our SME economy, and boost Welsh productivity and innovation even further.”

The evidence session held yesterday (March 7th) looked at the following key themes:

  • People: how to equip people with the knowledge, skills and resources needed to start and develop a business
  • Places: how to support the vibrancy and viability of the locations where entrepreneurs trade in Wales

The first panel, focusing on developing business people, included contributions from Sue Thompson, Head of Public Sector Partnerships at the Princes Trust Cymru and David Hagendyk, Director for Wales of the Learning and Work Institute.

The second panel, focusing on the places that entrepreneurs trade and developing a healthy environment for business included contributions from Andrew Highway, Town Centre Development Manager at Caerphilly County Borough Council; Meurig Watts, Head of Regeneration for South Wales in the Welsh Government; Martin Kearsley, Banking Director at Post Office Ltd, and Geraint Strello, Regional Manager at BT Group.

During the sessions, the panels discussed the importance of supporting town centres and secondary shopping parades where entrepreneurs trade and the best way to deliver and equip people, of all ages, with the skills to start and grow a business.

The Inquiry will submit its findings and a final report to the Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Infrastructure later this year. For more information about the Cross Party Group on Small Shops, contact ACS Public Affairs Executive Steve Dowling at

This entry was posted by Chloe on Thu, 08/03/2018 - 10:34