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Global Entrepreneurship Week celebrated locally

Published: 16/11/2016

Flintshire Business Enterpreneurship Network (BEN) hosted an event during Global Entrepreneurship Week, 14-20 November. The event, held at Glyndwr University and organised by Flintshire Communities First, included speakers from national and local government and the University as well as local entrepreneurs. Global Entrepreneurship Week is the worlds largest celebration of the innovators and job creators. During one week each November, thousands of events in 160 countries inspire millions to engage in entrepreneurial activity while connecting them to potential collaborators, mentors and even investors. BEN, established in 2012 with support from Welsh Government, is chaired by Flintshire businessman Askar Sheibani, CEO of Deeside-based telecoms repair company Comtek Network Systems UK. Opening the event, Mr Sheibani, said: “Our network has so far supported over 150 talented individuals in achieving their entrepreneurial ambitions. Businesses created by these individuals continue to positively impact the local community, industry and Welsh economy. “The overwhelming success of this initiative is owed to the generous participation of the local business community and the vital continued backing of the Welsh Government and Flintshire County Council. BENs unique mentorship programme has since garnered attention and support from across the country and it is now our mission to roll-out the innovative model across Wales and the United Kingdom. “We are absolutely confident that todays event will inspire fierce momentum in our campaigns growth, increasing our reach to empower countless more aspiring entrepreneurs in Wales and beyond.” Economy Secretary Ken Skates said: “Entrepreneurs are hugely important to the Welsh economy and have the potential to significantly increase employment levels and prosperity. “I am determined the Welsh Government will do all it can to encourage, support and grow entrepreneurial activity right across Wales and this includes inspiring the next generation of budding business men and women to make their business dreams a reality. “There is no doubt that starting a business can be a huge and daunting step so initiatives like the BEN and our re-launched £86m Business Wales service really are invaluable in providing that much needed assurance and helping hand to our budding entrepreneurs. “Today’s visit shows that if you have drive and an idea, the support is out there to help you turn that idea into tangible success. As a Government we are committed to championing our entrepreneurs and helping to create the right environment for businesses to grow. ” Also speaking at the event was a recent “graduate” of the Flintshire Enterprise Club, run by Flintshire Communities First, Bethan Williams from ABC Amser Babi Cymraeg. Bethan, a recent winner of a local enterprise grant, said: “ABC offers help and support with raising children to be bilingual in Welsh and English. We offer a wide range of activities including baby massage, baby yoga, splash and rhyme and story and rhyme time. The help provided by the Enterprise Club has been outstanding, I couldn’t have done this without their help and guidance and I would recommend anyone thinking of going it alone to seek their help. Since setting up the business, I haven’t looked back and business is booming.” Leader of Flintshire County Council, Councillor Aaron Shotton, who closed the event, said: “I’m delighted to be here today. The success of this network is down to entrepreneurs, government, academic partners and youth and community groups all working together to make things happen. One real success is the Flintshire Enterprise Club - the opportunities and mentoring support offered are fantastic – where else would you find inspiring business leaders giving local people encouragement? As a Council, we know how vital it is to provide that support to budding entrepreneurs who in turn will bring huge benefits to Flintshire’s economy.” Among the organisations supporting the event are Communities First, Jobcentre Plus, Flintshire County Council, Careers Wales, Coleg Cambria, Glyndwr University, and Flintshire Local Voluntary Council. Ken Skates with members of the Flintshire Enterprise Club, Askhar Sheibani and Cllr Aaron Shotton