With a new year come new goals, ambitions and ideas. Like many, you might be feeling inspired to fulfill yours by finally starting the business you’ve been thinking about for so long. If so, we’re here to tell you why Wales might be the best location for your new venture.
Working in Wales
Over the past two years, many have become accustomed to working from home. In this time, not only have we reaped the rewards of shorter commutes, greater convenience and fewer costly outings, but we have also been afforded the capacity to rethink our priorities and re-establish our desires.
Whether this is a complete change in career or a lockdown hobby turned sustainable second stream of income, starting a business comes with numerous benefits. Money only scratches the surface of these advantages, particularly as you are also offered the freedom to work around your own schedule and have control over where and how you do business.
Wales is home to people skilled in all types of trade, from construction and manufacturing to fashion and financial services. The business community is rife, meaning more can look in their own cities and towns for opportunities, rather than towards other places in the UK that have typically been better recognised for business.
With the pandemic still wreaking havoc in many of these major cities, and a newfound appreciation of home likely to stay long after the virus, the opportunities in the local market will only get bigger in both potential and number.
Business growth in Wales
This change in perspective is evident in the growth of business in Wales. Over the last decade, the number of private sector businesses has faced a steady increase, reaching a growth of 9% in 2021, when there were approximately 207,400 registered companies. These businesses employ over 1.2 million people in Wales, helping to boost the nation’s economic status and its population’s welfare. Some of these figures are the highest they have been since 2003, showing potential and a promising future for the market.
Helping with this business growth are a number of grants, investment and funding opportunities, some of which are government-backed in order to eliminate barriers to starting a business in Wales.
A pool of talent
Depending on the size and nature of your business, you might soon find yourself with room to expand. But a business’s potential is only as great as its people. Fortunately, Wales offers its businesses access to an enviable pool of talent, with a workforce full of skilled professionals, and budding graduates from eight universities, not forgetting those returning home after studying elsewhere.
Couple the optimistic vision of your new business and the opportunity to get hands-on experience in a growing market with the quality of life and countless amenities on offer in Wales, and you’ve got yourself an attractive employment package to bring in only the best to join your team.
Serviced office spaces
While working from home has become the norm, a growing team and the need for a change in environment to boost productivity is a strong case for a dedicated office space. Thanks to the growing business community in Wales, there has been vast investment in the area’s office spaces and commercial facilities.
Included in this are eight distinct ‘Enterprise Zones’, which are areas that have been purpose-built and designed for certain industries to thrive. For example, waterfront locations such as Haven Waterway and Port Talbot are ideal for manufacturing and marine businesses, whereas key cities including Cardiff are better suited to financial and other professional services.
Along with its capital city status, which attracts a mixed crowd of professionals and tourists, the area is also home to a number of serviced office spaces and business centres which come fitted with facilities and features to help any modern business succeed. And despite their refurbished, state of the art interiors, many uphold the city’s rich history and heritage through their traditional exterior facades, offering the very best of both.
These serviced spaces offer start-up businesses a number of other benefits. Notably, the serviced spaces provide co-working and hot desk facilities, which can be rented on a short-term, flexible lease basis, as well as spaces in shared buildings, which encourage networking and communication among businesses.
While these serviced offices are notorious for offering companies greater value for their space, Wales is often recognised for its low commercial rent and property prices, which is great for any business in its infant stages.
Business aside, the country is well known for its picturesque landscapes, rural amenities, transportation links and leisure offerings. Whether you are based in one of its major cities or a smaller remote town, you will never be short of things to do, see and experience in Wales.
Firstly, its rural nature is a great promoter of well-being and a more sustainable way of life. For any company or professional conducting business in 2022, sustainability will be a key factor for success, whether that be by attracting clients and customers, or future-proofing practices to meet wider net-zero targets.
It’s no surprise that Wales offers some fantastic outdoor activities, from nature trail hikes and expeditions to Mount Snowdon, to watersports on its coastlines and rounds at world-class golf courses. Ultimately, work hard, play hard is more than just a saying in Wales; it’s the way of life.
If you’re looking for something outside of Wales, whether travelling to a meeting, visiting out-of-town friends or a holiday abroad, for example, nothing is ever too hard to reach by road, rail or air.
We predict Wales will be front of mind for many budding entrepreneurs this coming year for all the reasons discussed. As a result, we’re excited to see how the professional scene grows and develops while opening new doors for the future of Welsh talent.