Showcasing the Best of Welsh Business


Succession is a Key Challenge for Many Business Owners


Bethan Cousins, new business director at the Development Bank of Wales talks to Business News Wales about the challenges many businessowners face in relation to succession.

Interview Highlights

  • Succession is really a key challenge for lots of business owners.
  • When it comes to thinking about perhaps retiring or passing on the reins is how do they do that?
  • How do owners realise the value they've built in their business, but while also maintaining the legacy so that their business can keep going into the future?
  • Continuing succession is really important, particularly in Wales because there is an ageing ownership population.
  • Often business founders are really not sure about the different routes they can take to effect succession.
  • One of the most common routes to management succession is through a management buyout, where a number of the existing management team step up to take ownership in the business and take the business through to its next growth stage.
  • Employee ownership is another route where a larger group of employees may decide that they want to step up and take ownership of the business.
  • one of the big misconceptions that founders and shareholders make is they don't actually believe that their management team or employees can actually afford to buy the business off them.
  • There's often a taboo about talking about retirement and transfer of ownership, but we always find that it's great to have those conversations early, understand what their aspirations are, particularly if there's family members that you also want to transfer to.
  • One of the things that we see that works really well is where owners begin to step away from the business gradually.


The Development Bank of Wales exists to help businesses in Wales start up, strengthen and grow, by getting them the capital they need across a range of routes.

As a unique resource in Wales, we offer flexible finance to all businesses at all stages, with funds available from £1,000 to £10million.

Our teams of friendly and dedicated staff all across Wales are on hand to provide guidance on the right investment and support for your business, and can provide the local insight which we know business owners value.

We’re one of the top five institutional venture capital investors in the UK by volume, with more than £100m invested in tech businesses.

We also work alongside partner organisations like Business Wales, and offers co-investment alongside banks, crowd funders, grants, private and corporate investors and other lenders.

And we’re committed to helping Welsh businesses improve their sustainability and achieving net-zero goals, helping them to transition to Wales’ green business future.

For more information, visit the Development Bank website at to find out more.


Related Articles