The Week That Was #297… 5 peeks behind the week at Working Word
Reconstruction, recovery and resilience. Welsh exporters see international success. Unveiling a new solar farm at Aberystwyth University. Inspiring confidence in the youth of Wales. How vulnerability in business can lead to more women leaders.
1. Reconstruction, recovery and resilience
There’s no doubt the last 20 months have been a time of unprecedented challenges for businesses. Many have had to adapt to new ways of working and look for new opportunities to excel, or even just survive. One way businesses have been able to ride out the storm is through exporting overseas. As part of our work with Business Wales to promote the value of exporting to Welsh SMEs, we produced a film featuring four Welsh businesses- Frog Bikes, Fifth Wheel Co., Celtic English Academy and RM Group- highlighting just how important exporting has become to their success. In January a 30 second version of the film will feature as an advert on Sky TV, and it’s also being utilised as part of a social advertising campaign targeted at decision makers within Welsh SMEs.
2. International success for Welsh exporters
Alongside our ‘hero’ campaign film mentioned above, we have also been shining a light on a handful of Welsh SMEs who are successfully exporting overseas. Producing individual films for each, the films highlight the unique experiences and benefits of exporting for each company.
This week, we shared three of five case study films that we have created in recent months, including Frog Bikes, a kids’ bike manufacturer based in Pontypool, that has developed an extensive international sales portfolio. With exports accounting for 55% of its trade, Frog Bikes has 1,800 retailers worldwide, in countries including Canada, Australia, New Zealand and a number of European nations. Watch the above film to hear from ‘Chief Frog’ Jerry Lawson on how exporting with the help of the Welsh Government has changed his business.
Rhuallt-based Fifth Wheel Co., is another business we’ve featured this week. They’re a leading manufacturer of luxury fifth wheel caravans and currently exports to over 15 countries worldwide. The company has set its sights on global growth by expanding within Europe, targeting Asia as a new market, and doubling its overseas trade to account for 50% of turnover in the next two years. Watch what design manager Dave had to say about backing received from the Welsh Government above.
Exporting has also helped Newtown-based manufacturer RM Group diversify its trade and sell to large international markets, like Iceland, Australia, Iraq and the USA. Commercial director, Rosie Davies, is just one of the voices at the business that celebrates the power of exporting, with international sales currently representing 20% of trade.
Watch this space for more films as we continue to share more export success stories over the coming months- and if you’re looking to take the first step on your export journey, give Business Wales a shout.
3. Announcing a new solar farm at Aberystwyth University
Did you know that Aberystwyth University is set to be one of the greenest university campuses in Wales? The university has announced plans to implement a number of energy efficiency improvements and initiatives including its very own solar farm which will power its campus. The upgrades have been made possible thanks to funding from our client, Salix Finance, which provides 100% interest free loans to public sector organisations to invest in their energy efficiency.
4. Inspiring confidence in the youth of Wales with Saadia Speaks
Through our work with youth entrepreneurship service, Big Ideas Wales, we’ve been sharing the inspiring work of second-year Psychology and Sociology student. Saadia Abubaker has used lockdown to turn her podcast venture into a fully functioning business, Saadia Speaks.
We shared the work of Saadia Speaks with titles across Wales, exploring how the 19-year-old is paving a pathway to confidence for young people with workshops, panel discussions, one-on-one consultations and even charity events alongside organisations like Women After Greatness and Mind.
5. How vulnerability in business can lead to more women leaders
With leadership positions in business still dominated by men, what more can those in power do to make sure that future opportunities to lead are accessible to everyone?
We worked with Rachel Probert, co-owner and chief commercial officer at postgraduate digital education provider Learna, to put together a thought-provoking article for tech website WeAreTechWomen on how her experiences in business and the tech industry had influenced her view on what makes a good leader.
Rachel’s insightful feature questions the benefit of leaders who choose to put on false displays of confidence, and instead argues that laying bare vulnerabilities can inspire female workers to rise to the top themselves.