Group of diverse business people on panel discussion

Wales Regional event: Cardiff

Regional conferences | Dec 22

Delivered by:

Small Business Charter Logo

Sponsored by:

HM Government logo

SOUTH Wales Regional event: Cardiff

February 29th
8:30 am – 2:00 pm
NatWest Entrepreneur Accelerator Cardiff, Third Floor, One Kingsway, Cardiff, CF10 3AQ

Highlighted speakers:

Dr Suzanne Ross

Dr Suzanne Ross Principal Lecturer, SME short courses, Nottingham Business School

Councillor Bablin Molik

Councillor Bablin Molik The Right Honourable, The Lord Mayor of Cardiff

Huw Thomas

Huw Thomas Leader, Cardiff Council

This event has now ended

This event will feature a highly compelling masterclass, led by leadership expert and executive coach, Dr Suzanne Ross. Suzanne will dissect how the role of a leader changes as a business grows and highlight personal and team development techniques that are crucial for success. This will be followed by a session on regional productivity exploring how Welsh businesses can maximise their capacity to grow, and keynotes from Cardiff-based founders about their entrepreneurial journey to success.

We will also be introducing something new and exciting this year: business support. This is your chance to speak to our experts 1-2-1 and gain a fresh perspective on elevating your business. You will have the opportunity to book a 10-minute slot on the day and access targeted support focused on the needs of your business. Seize the chance to connect directly with SME advisors from the Department for Business and Trade, NatWest, and local business support. Don’t miss out on this fantastic opportunity to learn, engage, and build lasting connections.


08:30 Breakfast and registration

Breakfast and refreshments will be provided.

09:00 Welcome Address 

The Right Honourable, The Lord Mayor of Cardiff, Councillor Bablin Molik 

09:10 Opening remarks from the conference chair

Professor Rachel Ashworth, Dean and Head of Cardiff Business School 

09:15 Keynote address

Huw Thomas, Leader, Cardiff Council  

09:40 SME masterclass: Overcoming the barriers to success – Become a strategic leader

In many instances, business failure can be attributed to a leader’s inability to strategically manage both the organisation and its employees. Poor leadership, irrespective of your business’s size, has far-reaching consequences on culture, productivity, and ultimately, growth. In this enlightening masterclass, SME coach, Dr. Suzanne Ross will delve into the transformation of a leader’s role as a business expands. She’ll spotlight essential techniques for personal and team development, critical for achieving success.

Key takeaways will include:

  • identifying the mindset shift needed to transition to a strategic leader
  • recognising how dysfunctional leadership affects growth.
  • mitigating derailing leadership behaviours.
  • how to let go and delegate in a way that empowers staff, engages customers, and improves performance.

Join us for this highly engaging masterclass, where you’ll acquire the knowledge to proactively prevent organisational dysfunction, foster a productive workplace environment, and parallelly foster the growth of your business. It’s an opportunity to learn and implement strategies that enable your business to thrive and evolve.

Dr. Suzanne Ross, SME Coach and Leadership Expert

11:00 mid-morning break

11:20 Regional business productivity

This panel session will be divided into two parts.

Part 1 – Panel session  

During this panel session, you will be taken through the journey of how the founder of Penderyn Welsh Whisky, Brian Morgan, was able to finance and grow his business to become a household name and an internationally recognisable symbol of Wales. Brian, accompanied by industry experts, will delve into a comprehensive analysis of Welsh business productivity and strategies for enhancement. Join us to unravel the secrets of flourishing as a Welsh-based business by addressing crucial productivity challenges.

Key takeaways will include: 

  • how to improve managerial capacity. 
  • appropriate skills training. 
  • the importance of networking and regional support services. 
  • overcoming the digital deficit.  
  • a case study: Penderyn Welsh Whisky – insights into planning, branding, funding, and building the right team.

Part 2 – Group discussions

Following the panel session, you’ll participate in interactive group discussions. These small groups will provide a platform for reflecting on your key takeaways from the panel and responding to prompts facilitated by session leaders. Engage in meaningful conversations and collaborative insights to further solidify your understanding and apply the learnings to your unique business context.

Brian Morgan, Professor of Entrepreneurship at Cardiff Metropolitan University, Founder of Penderyn Welsh Whisky  

Shayoni Lynn, CEO and Founder, Lynn 

Paul Butterworth, CEO, Chambers Wales

Kate Methuen-Ley, Strategy Advisor,

12:20 keynote ADDRESS: Founding and scaling Cardiff’s 2023 fastest-growing firm

Nick Collins, Founder and CEO, Cleverchefs 

12:45 Closing remarks from the conference chair

Professor Rachel Ashworth, Dean and Head of Cardiff Business School 

12:55 Lunch and networking


Dr. Suzanne Ross, SME Coach and Leadership Expert

Suzanne’s presentation from the masterclass

Productivity panel:

Financing a business

Managing Productivity in Welsh Firms: Final Report 2020

Productivity Report: Conclusions and Policy Recommendations

Nick Collins, Founder and CEO, Cleverchefs 

Nick’s presentation from his keynote address


If you have any questions, please get in touch by email at or contact the Small Business Charter by phone on 020 7634 9584.

Capacity is limited so please register your place as soon as possible.

About our Speakers

Dr Suzanne Ross

Dr Suzanne Ross Principal Lecturer, SME short courses, Nottingham Business School

Councillor Bablin Molik

Councillor Bablin Molik The Right Honourable, The Lord Mayor of Cardiff

Rachel Ashworth

Rachel Ashworth

Shayoni Lynn

Shayoni Lynn CEO and founder, Lynn

Professor Brian Morgan

Professor Brian Morgan Professor of Entrepreneurship, Cardiff Metropolitan University, and Director of its Creative Leadership and Enterprise Centre

Nick Collins

Nick Collins Founder, Cleverchefs

Paul Butterworth

Paul Butterworth CEO, Chambers Wales

Kate Methuen-Ley

Kate Methuen-Ley Strategy Advisor,

About our business support

Department for business and trade

The Department for Business and Trade helps UK SMEs identify and win new sales opportunities in overseas markets. They do this by providing advice, market intelligence and custom-made support to maximise your potential growth whilst minimising risk when selling products or services overseas.  

To make the most of this opportunity, we ask that you prepare your “pitch” by developing your export plan using the structure in the following link as a guide – 

Rob Lewtas

Rob Lewtas Strategic Partnerships Manager, Department for Business and Trade

Development Bank of Wales

The Development Bank of Wales supports businesses in the Welsh community. If your SME is a new or established company that needs access to debt or equity finance, the Development Bank of Wales can provide the funding and advice you need to grow your business.

They provide equity funding for early-stage tech startups, ambitious businesses looking to grow and support for management buy-outs. These equity funds can invest from £50k to £10m.

The Development Bank of Wales also offers business loans and specialist funds for tourism businesses and property developers, which can be combined with Welsh Government grants. Their loans range from £1k to £10m over terms of up to 15 years.

Innovate UK

Innovate UK is a UK-based innovation agency that aims to drive business innovation and productivity. They provide facilities and a framework of funding, finance and one-to-one support from over 400 innovation specialists and scaleup directors embedded in every UK region and nation. 

Please come ready to discuss your products and services, as well as your growth ambitions.

Be prepared to:

  • Sharpen your commercial strategies
  • Realise your maximum value from your IP
  • Raise game-changing investments


The NatWest Accelerator supports and empowers UK entrepreneurs to scale their businesses to the next level.

This free accelerator programme offers: 

  • One-to-one coaching with experienced Acceleration Managers 
  • A programme of thought leadership and events 
  • Access to a network of like-minded peers, supported by our Ecosystem Managers 
  • Focused support with access to experts from across your specialism 
  • Modern co-working spaces in one of our nationwide hubs. 

If you’d like to hear more about Natwest’s accelerator programme or enterprise financial health checks, be sure to book your slot and speak to their representative.

Whether you bank with Natwest or not, they can support your business’s growth plans.

Other Events