Some of Wales’ finest businesses and their owners have been shortlisted for prizes at this year’s Great British Entrepreneur Awards.

Born out of a belief that entrepreneurs are as much about their story as they are their balance sheet, the awards were founded in 2012.

The aim was to create a platform that celebrated and championed the entrepreneurs behind brilliant businesses.

Firms across the country have now been announced as finalists for Wales regional prizes at this year’s awards.

Mark Williams, who runs Denbigh-based Limb-art has been shortlisted for both the Entrepreneur For Good and Made In The UK prizes.

Limb-Art was established in 2018 by Mark, a former Paralympic swimmer from Rhyl, to design and manufacture prosthetic leg covers after he lost his own leg in a cycling accident.

He wanted to help other prosthetic users raise their confidence, be proud of what they have and have fun showing off whilst doing so.

The business has recently secured a deal to supply the whole of NHS Wales with its products.

As a result, every adult amputee in Wales will now have access to a free Limb-art cover through the country’s prosthetic centres in Cardiff, Swansea and Wrexham.

The National Wales:

Mark said: “Being selected as a finalist is truly astounding for us and really fills not just me but the whole team here with pride that what started out as a solution to my own body image issues has turned into a global brand.

“We are now selling into our NHS system in the UK and as far afield as Queensland, Australia and America, we always knew we had a great product and a great reason to make them but to get recognised in such a prestigious event is really the icing on the cake.”

Also on the shortlist is a teenager who set up a clothing business from his bedroom during the first lockdown.

Evan Sellick, who set up Clothing View aged 15, has been nominated for the Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award.

Mr Sellick, now aged 16, sources branded clothing from charity shops and online wholesalers before washing, ironing and photographing them and putting them online for potential customers to view.

Over the past 12 months, he has grown the business to the point where he had to move bedrooms, having filled his old room with almost 300 items of clothing.

“A lot has happened since then,” said Mr Sellick. “I’m now verified on Depop and I’ve now moved it out of my bedroom.

“I’m also hoping to set up a pop-up shop in either Friars Walk or Cwmbran town centre. This time next year I’d love to have a shop, or for after I finish school.

“I’m going to Torfaen Learning Zone to do a Level Three BTEC in business.

READ MORE: Welsh business owners putting work ahead of pleasure

I spent a lot of time on my business and not my GCSEs, but I got some good results so I won’t just be relying on the business.”

Speaking about being a finalist at the awards, he said: “I’m one of six in Wales. There were more than 4,000 applicants across all of the categories

“It’s going to be a massive event in London. I’m chuffed that I get to go.

“It’s a great opportunity for me too, I’ll have to get my contacts book ready. You can only be 16 once in your life, so this is a massive opportunity.”

Also nominated for a prize is Lowri Roberts, who runs her online business Casgliad from the Bala area.

Lowri has been nominated for the Creative Industries Entrepreneur of the Year award, as well as the Start-Up Entrepreneur of the Year prize.

Casgliad (which translates to a collection in English) was established last September by Lowri, who left her previous job as an architect to pursue a new career during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The National Wales: Casgliad founder Lowri Roberts started her business last year and is already up for prizes.

It is an online platform where people can find and order contemporary homeware and artwork designed and made in Wales.

Lowri recently hosted her first pop-up shop at Corwen’s Rhug Estate - an event that proved to be a success.

Commenting on being nominated for a prize, Lowri, from Llandderfel, said: “I’m very happy that Casgliad has been named on the shortlist for two separate prizes.

“It’s also great to hear that other local businesses have made it onto the list.”

Denbigh-based craft ale producer Dovecote Brewery, which is located on the Colomendy industrial estate, is also in the running.

The micro-brewery is up for Best Family Run Business and Best Food and Drink Producer prizes in the regional finals.

A spokesperson for Dovecote said: “This success recognises the commitment of Richard, Sue and Dominic Green to make their vegan micro-brewery one of the best in Wales.”

The awards ceremony is planned at The Grosvenor Hotel in London in November and the full shortlist is available here.

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