Showcasing the Best of Welsh Business


Cwmbran Businesswoman Wins 2019 NatWest Everywoman Award


Kelli Aspland, co-founder of Solar Buddies was the only Welsh winner of a NatWest everywoman award at a glittering ceremony in London last week.

The 17th annual 2019 NatWest everywoman Awards celebrated Britain’s most inspiring female entrepreneurs, each recognised for their outstanding achievements.  These awards champion women in enterprise from all walks of life, providing a platform to share their journeys to success. This year’s winners include women who are transforming and disrupting their respective industries, from art and social enterprises to wellness and beauty – all the winners are role models whose success will encourage future generations of female talent.

Kelli a businesswoman, mum and entrepreneur from Cwmbran received The Aphrodite Award open to women from across the UK who founded businesses whilst raising children aged 12 years and under.

Together with her best friend Laura Waters, both were full time mums before forming Solar Buddies in 2014 to develop, patent and manufacture a specialist sunscreen applicator designed to make applying it easy and mess free. It also tackled the ‘no-touch’ policy many schools have, thereby preventing teachers helping their younger pupils to protect themselves from the sun.

With no previous business experience, Kelli and Laura teamed up with product design students from Cardiff Met University and developed their refillable applicable which is now sold directly and via retailers across the world. Solar Buddies recorded an increase in revenue of over 200% in the last two years alone.

Whilst setting the business up, Kelli was also managing the serious medical conditions two of her four children were receiving treatment for. These required frequent hospital appointments and overnight stays.

Commenting on winning the award, Kelli said,

“This is a dream come true. I am so proud of everything Laura and I have achieved with Solar Buddies and look forward to continuing to grow and develop the business both here in the UK and internationally. I am fortunate to have a fantastic and now healthy family who have been very supportive throughout our journey so far and hope that others might use our story as a source of inspiration to go out and do something similar themselves. To be shortlisted amongst so many talented businesswomen was wonderful, to win this award is something else. I am so proud.”


At NatWest Cymru we are passionate supporters of enterprise and offer a wide range of services to people who want to start, run and grow a business.

Business Builder is a completely free online tool which is entirely self-serve and can be accessed 24/7 through a dedicated online portal.

It’s designed to support entrepreneurs and business owners to upskill and develop themselves and their business at a time and pace that suits them.

Register and find out more at:

In addition, our Local Enterprise Managers offer free support and expertise to small businesses – whether you bank with us or not. NatWest Cymru’s Local Enterprise Managers can:

• Boost your insight and knowledge in specialist subjects by giving you access to local talks and educational events.
• Boost your connections with opportunities and partnerships. These could be within our group or through a variety of other businesses we work with – they could help you on the road to success.
• Boost your skills through training and mentoring with 1:1 sessions.

Contact your Local Enterprise Manager:

Julia Perry. [email protected]
07786 462378

Lee Morgan. [email protected]
07790 913197


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