The Wrexham Enterprise Hub is celebrating having reached more than a ‘century’ of members as 114 startups and small businesses have now called the coworking space home.
The milestone was recognised with a visit from the Economy and Transport Minister, Ken Skates AM, who spoke with businesses based at the Hub about their experiences and plans for the new year.
Since launching in May 2018 the Enterprise Hub has held more than 65 events and supported more than 300 individuals and businesses. As well as enabling businesses to start, the team in Wrexham have played a key role in helping its members grow, and to date enterprises at the hub have raised more than £800k in investment and created jobs.
Minister for Economy and Transport, Ken Skates said “It’s great news that so many entrepreneurs and businesses have already benefited from the quality support the Hub can offer.
“It’s clear this facility is providing a real opportunity for building networks and sharing expertise which are important factors in helping businesses thrive and achieve success.
“The Welsh Government is fully aware of the importance of innovation-driven entrepreneurship and acknowledge the importance of providing space, community and support for aspiring entrepreneurs.”
The Wrexham Enterprise Hub is located in the old Iceland building on Rhosddu Road, Queens Square. The pilot for four other regional hubs across Wales, it is building a community of entrepreneurs who are already boosting the local economy.
As well as providing a home for startups and freelancers, the Hub has also held high-profile events, ranging from guest talks about ‘creating value through customers’ from Boston’s MIT, through to tech-focussed days such as the Google Garage workshop.
The hub also hosts a Start-Up Club for individuals who have an idea but need support to develop it and an Accelerator programme that fast-tracks potential high-growth businesses.
In its first seven months of supporting start-ups the Hub has;
Had 114 members.
Supported more than 300 individuals and businesses.
Fast-tracked 13 businesses through its Accelerator programme.
Run 40 workshops with 313 businesses and individuals attending.
Held 204 surgeries with more than 11 commercial partners including Natwest and the Development Bank of Wales.
Welcomed more than 1300 people through its showcase events.
Community Manager at the Hub, Carl Turner said that he was proud of the impact the Hub has made: “It’s incredibly rewarding to see the impact the Hub has had, not just on businesses, but on the town as a whole. We’ve supported a number of non-business related community and social events, from a Polish heritage day, through to an Autism Awareness Conference and it was great to see some of our now more than 100 strong membership getting involved.
“One of the benefits of our town centre location is that we get a number of people popping their head in to see what’s going on. Many of these people have never considered starting their own business, but after meeting the team and chatting with our members, some of them have gone on to join our community and become founders.
“For me, that’s when we know we’re making a difference; when people who otherwise wouldn’t have dreamt they could be their own boss, do so. That’s why we do this – so that people can realise that they don’t have to turn over millions to generate a decent income doing something they love. It’s a real possibility now, and for many, it would not have happened if they didn’t have a space like the Hub in their town.”
One of the businesses that have based themselves at the Hub is Pinnacle Harnesses. Its founder, Phill Harry, said: “The support of the Hub has been fantastic and along with the encouragement of long-standing customers and suppliers, we navigated a demanding start-up stage. The Accelerator programme helped keep everything in focus and the one-to-one mentoring really helped me work on expanding the business, rather than falling into the trap of just filling orders.”