Showcasing the Best of Welsh Business


Wales is a Great Place for Business, and Here’s Why


Written by:

Jeannette Linfoot,




Jeannette Linfoot is a high performing corporate CEO turned entrepreneur with a £multimillion business portfolio across multiple sectors. Here, she discusses why Wales is a destination for business owners, as well as key lessons she has learnt on her entrepreneurial journey.

With 20,675 businesses set up in Wales in 2023 according to R3, the UK’s insolvency and restructuring trade body, a vibrant enterprise ecosystem has been developing in Wales over recent years and it’s easy to see why.

There aren’t a huge number of large corporate businesses in the country, so those that do set up in Wales can more easily stand out from the crowd and attract funding and talent.

The Welsh Government has also dedicated finance support schemes and initiatives to encourage and incentivise businesses to invest in Wales, whether that is through subsidies, grants, contribution for any jobs created, or skills training.

There are, of course, some drawbacks. Access to a broad range of talent can be more limited in Wales and, as there are fewer large corporates, having access to experienced business leaders who are experts in running scale organisations can be difficult.

However, with cheaper office space, lower living costs for employees, access to talent from the university sector and one of the best enterprise support environments in the UK, it is no surprise that more companies are seeing the benefits of doing business from a base in Wales.

The key to business success in Wales

Setting up any business for success comes down to three key areas. These are: leading yourself, leading the business and leading teams.

For business owners in Wales, when it comes to leading yourself, a common problem is having the self-belief and confidence in their ability to scale up a business.

A big obstacle for Welsh start-up owners leading the business is knowing exactly where they want the business to be and formulating a clear vision and strategy.

In terms of leading teams, many business owners find it difficult to delegate and can become a blocker for growth.

Imposter syndrome is another common challenge many business owners have to navigate, and I have suffered with it throughout my career.

I come from a working-class family and, while I have always been very much loved and supported by my parents and sisters, I always knew my path would be a different, challenging and exciting one, which would come with a need for a mindset shift.

I was the only one to go to university and joined the Government Economic Service with a 1st class degree in Economics from Leeds University at a time when 80 per cent of the other economists were Oxbridge graduates.

I was promoted into my first director role as product director at First Choice and doubted myself despite my successes and, later, continued to grapple with imposter syndrome when I left the corporate CEO world to move into a plural career as an entrepreneur.

A good approach for Welsh business owners tackling imposter syndrome, and the way I have dealt with it, is to reframe the word ‘imposter’, which is very negative, into a more positive approach with each letter representing a coping mechanism.

I is for ‘identify’ – acknowledge the thoughts and feelings you are having and put them into perspective.

M is for ‘mindset’ – believe in yourself. You have true greatness within you, and you can achieve absolutely anything you want in life.

P is for ‘people’ – surround yourself with the right people.

O is for ‘OK to fail’ – don’t be afraid to fail.

S is for ‘story’ – the stories we tell ourselves about who and what we are will either lift us up or hold us back.

T is for ‘tenacious action’ – take action every day that is going to move you one step closer to your dreams and your vision.

E is for ‘energy’ – Look after your energy levels. Make exercise part of your daily routine, eat well, and get plenty of sleep.

R is for ‘reason’ – Be clear on your purpose and what you want to achieve.

Be brave, bold, brilliant

To achieve their goals in business [and in any area of life] Welsh business owners must be brave, bold and brilliant, and these are the values I live by, too. In reality, this means being the best version of yourself every day.

‘Brave’ is all about pushing out of your comfort zone, ‘Bold’ focuses on making the biggest impact you can and ‘Brilliant’ is centred around the people and the journey along the way – the people you meet, the teams you develop and the clients you delight.

Get clear on what you are trying to achieve, create a business plan, even if it is brief and jotted down on one page. Test out your offering before you invest too heavily. Be agile before you go all in and surround yourself with the right people – from coaches and mentors to trusted friends who you can learn from.

Network like mad so you can engage with like-minded people and create meaningful relationships and, finally, educate yourself on what resources are available for you, including financial support from the Welsh government, links to educational institutions and free advice.

Work on yourself every day from a personal development perspective. Your health is crucial, and your mindset and energy are everything. Have self-belief!

Business News Wales