Showcasing the Best of Welsh Business

South Wales Business Owners Invest Over £100,000 to Boost Entrepreneurships in Wales


Collaborative working space and business growth community Sovereign Connect is self-funding 50 places on a new programme at their offices in Llantrisant, South Wales for business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs looking to grow and scale their businesses.

The vision comes after the founders’ own experiences of struggling to build and grow their businesses and desire to engage with others on a similar journey. The GROW 2017 programme, hosted by Sovereign Connect, was developed as a way of helping others going through what the founders have already experienced as seasoned entrepreneurs.

During 2017, 50 business owners are being invited to apply to join the Sovereign Connect community for free as part of the GROW 2017 programme and help boost entrepreneurship in Wales. Successful candidates will benefit from coaching, mentoring and advice, a co-workingbelow*/lounge space, networking and leadership events as well as access to hot desks, meeting rooms and virtual meeting technology.

sovereign_1Serial entrepreneurs Dave Dean and Darren James, each with over 25 years of experience running small businesses, have launched multiple businesses in the UK and the US.

They employ more than 50 people across two locations in the Rhondda Valleys. Sovereign Connect is the joint creation of the Rhondda-born business partners. The pair currently operate five other businesses together from Sovereign Connect including Risk Monitor, Julie Kelly HR, Webfibre, Candl Hat Studios and Screentec.

The two are now hoping that their investment in the funded places will inspire and encourage business owners to have the confidence to take their business even further and spark even more entrepreneurship in Wales.

Mr Dean explains:

“There’s one thing I can categorically say when building your business: no-one can do it alone!  No matter how good you are, you simply can’t be good at everything.  I want Sovereign Connect to ignite that spark for someone and help people find the support they need to make 2017 their best year yet.

“Working closely with local and central government, support agencies, networking groups and the education sector, we want to use our combined knowledge and experience to help business owners take their businesses to the next level.”

Mr James added:

“In my early days, I got up at the crack of dawn, worked on printing machines all day in my garage in the freezing cold, delivered the finished goods at the end of the day and then spent the evenings doing the paperwork. It was a very lonely existence. The truth is, you cannot do it alone, you need to surround yourself with good people, the best you can afford.

“Between us, Dave and I have worked solidly over the last 25 years growing our businesses and have encountered every pitfall and mistake you can imagine along the way. It’s a personal mission of ours to help others excel in business and foster more entrepreneurial spirit across the region and I want to give something back to help others achieve their potential too.”


The opportunity to take part in the programme is only available until the end of 2017, so Sovereign Connect is encouraging business owners who are looking to develop personally and grow and their businesses this year, to go to and apply early. Businesses from any sector or industry are welcome to apply.