Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Business experts take pride in the future

Business experts in Swansea are celebrating a key landmark in helping the city's enterprise culture flourish.

Staff and consultants at the Swansea Council-run Business Centre Swansea have just greeted their 1,000th visitor in a year.

They believe the success reveals that the local business community is working hard to leave the recession behind.

Business Centre Swansea manager Steve Marshall said: "We offer free help and advice to anybody thinking of starting a business. Of our 1,000 visitors this year range from those making an initial inquiry to those looking to build and develop business plans or to grow their enterprise on success already achieved.

"It's clear from our figures that the people of Swansea are working hard to see off the economic difficulties of recent times."

One success story is that of Pride Plastering, set up by 23-year-old Stephan Jones, of Ynysmeudwy, Pontardawe.

Mr Marshall said: "We're very proud of Stephan's achievements. He's a fantastic role model, actively seeking to build a business. It's been a pleasure to able to offer him advice and guidance along the way."

Stephan first approached Business Centre Swansea early this year after being laid off by a building firm and being out of work for around eight months.

He launched Pride Plastering in April this year and has since been busy plastering, rendering and decorating homes across Swansea.

He said: "I had qualifications and a few years of experience in the building trade. I knew that added up to an ability to offer a high-quality service but starting a business was something altogether more challenging.

"Starting a business is a big decision. I had so many questions The Business Centre Swansea was able to help."

He attended a three-day business planning course hosted by the Business Centre. It helped him to learn the basics about running a business.

He then worked closely with an advisor to write a business plan and access funding through the Prince's Trust.

Stephan is now working on a range of properties ranging from terraced homes to the Swansea' Valley's historic Craig y Nos Castle. He said: "It was fantastic working on such a unique building but I get a buzz out of every project I tackle.

"I aim to provide a friendly, reliable service for private and commercial clients."

His services include internal and external rendering, plaster boarding, pointing, coving, tiling, dashing, skimming and fibreglass roofing.

Plans for the future include developing an apprentice who has just started.

For more details about starting your business, contact the Business Centre Swansea - 01792 545050, www.businesscentreswansea.gov.uk.

For more details about Pride Plastering, contact Stephan Jones - 07854 301788 www.prideplasteringswansea.co.uk


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