Wales business class of 2010 ‘LEADs the way’ to greater profitability
Twenty-one owner-managers of Welsh businesses will be the first cohort to receive their diplomas from Swansea University on Thursday, November 11, after successfully taking part in the groundbreaking LEAD Wales development programme.
Professor Richard B Davies, Vice-Chancellor of Swansea University will attend the ceremony to present diplomas and honour the achievements of the first LEAD Wales graduates.
Sir Roger Jones, Pro-Chancellor and Chair of Swansea University Council, and representatives of the Welsh Assembly Government will also be in attendance.
The £8m LEAD WALES programme, based within the University’s School of Business and Economics, concentrates on developing two key areas of small and medium sized businesses: the business itself and the personal development of the owner-manager.
Chair and Director of LEAD Wales, Professor Andrew Henley from Swansea University’s School of Business and Economics, said: “The LEAD Wales programme tackles one of the biggest single problems facing owner-managers of such businesses: how to improve your leadership skills when you are fully occupied simply trying to keep a business on the road.
“Over the next five years we aim to develop 700 businesses in the Wales convergence region. We have already seen how those participating in the programme are seeing the benefits for themselves as leaders and their businesses.”
Mari Thomas, a designer jeweller with local business Palterman and Thomas, based in the Gallery in Swansea’s Norwegian Church, is one such business person who will be attending the ceremony.
She said: “The programme recognises that owner-managers are busy people, and so they spread the 20-day course over 10 months. In that time we not only learned from mentors and experienced coaching professionals how to become better leaders – but from each other as well.
“Knowledge and experience are pooled, and strong bonds have been formed between the people who take part in the programme.”
Sam Munn, Managing Director of Samatrix Ltd, a Swansea based company which specialises in pumping systems and equipment for water and wastewater applications, has been able to expand his business through the programme.
He said: “Many businesses find they have gone as far as they can with their product range or company structure. Part of the programme encourages delegates to look for new opportunities and find synergies with other businesses.
“That’s tough to do when the weight of the business rests on your shoulders. But with LEAD Wales, you’re working with other entrepreneurs who can inspire you to think in new directions.”
The next available LEAD Wales programme commences in January 2011. No formal qualifications are required, only an enthusiasm to develop leadership skills and commitment to complete the programme.