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Welsh Innovation Centre Invites Budding Entrepreneurs to Ditch the 9 to 5 for its 5 to 9 Club.


Start-up entrepreneurs working 5 to 9 to launch enterprises

Welsh ICE, the Caerphilly based innovation centre, is inviting aspiring entrepreneurs who are sick of working 9 to 5 to join its 5 to 9 Club.

The 5 to 9 Club is a free, after-hours entrepreneurship course designed to support wannabe business owners through the early stages of developing their idea and enterprise.

joykent,mandywestonThe scheme has been fully funded by the Fairwood Trust and sessions will run every Thursday evening from 5pm till 9pm over 12 weeks. Specialist mentors, workshops and industry experts will be on hand at each session offering support for every stage of the budding businesses. They will include advice on marketing, project development and finance, culminating in a presentation where the course participants will pitch their business idea or share their 5 to 9 Club journey.

The aim is to give founders and start-up businesses the boost they need to scale their enterprises through a fully-funded package that includes a full-time desk, a tailored mentoring programme and world class workshops.

Member of the first 5 to 9 Club, Kathryn Chadwick said:

“Two weeks into the 5 to 9 Club I handed in my notice and started planning my self-employed future. I was very fortunate to already have a supportive client on my books, but to actually take the plunge full time was very scary. The 5 to 9 Club gave me knowledge, confidence and more importantly friends, who are supporting each other through the bumpy ride of start-up entrepreneurism.”

Kathryn and the other members of the 5 to 9 Club completed their 12 week course with a presentation evening in December to share their experiences of the course and their entrepreneurial journey so far.

Speaking after the presentation evening, Welsh ICE supporter and mentor Joy Kent, Chief Executive of Chwarae Teg, said:

“It was great to meet all the participants and hear about their varied ideas. It was also really interesting that so many of the business concepts came from ethical and creative sectors. It was clear that the group had really gelled and I'm sure they'll be supporting each other in their next steps.”

Many of the participants of the 5 to 9 Club, including Kathryn, have gone on to become full time members at Welsh ICE to start or grow their businesses.

Gareth Jones, CEO of Welsh ICE, said:

“It has been great to see how our 5 to 9-ers have developed over 12 weeks. Most came in with a grain of an idea for a business, many lacked confidence and focus. Now to see them developing and running their businesses is testament to the fact that schemes like this work and are very much needed in South Wales.

“I can’t wait to see what applications we have for the next 5 to 9 Club. There are so many great business ideas out there waiting to be launched and it’s wonderful that Welsh ICE and the Fairwood Trust can support their inception and development.”

The closing date for the second round of applications for the Welsh ICE 5 to 9 Club, is January 15th, and interested parties are invited to submit their ideas to ICE through the website (


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