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Wales winners crowned in Cardiff

The founders of Welsh game developer Wales Interactive, David Banner MBE and Richard Pring, have been crowned Great British Entrepreneurs of the Year for Wales at the NatWest Great British Entrepreneur Awards. 

Now in its seventh year, the NatWest Great British Entrepreneur Awards celebrate the hard work and inspiring stories of entrepreneurs, rather than the business’ balance sheet. 

At a revamped regional final in Cardiff, Banner and Pring also picked up the award for the Creative Industries category for the Wales region. 

The pair launched Wales Interactive in 2012 and develops video games across Playstation, Xbox and Nintendo platforms with a particular interest in virtual reality. In its seven years, Wales Interactive has picked up several industry awards as well as several Welsh BAFTAs.

Francesca James, founder of the NatWest Great British Entrepreneur Awards, said: “David and Richard have achieved incredible things in such a short space of time, especially in starting to establish Wales as an up-and-coming location for video game design and publishing. They’re thoroughly deserving of the title of Great British Entrepreneur of the Year for the region.

“With over 3,000 entries across the country this year, it really is fantastic to even make it to the regional finals, so to win a category is nothing short of phenomenal. Every winner has different reasons for starting their business, but all are just as inspiring as each other. Seeing what it means to them as they collect their award is incredibly moving and drives us to keep doing what we’re doing by celebrating and supporting these amazing people.”

Gordon Merrylees, managing director of entrepreneurship at NatWest, said: “NatWest is proud to support the Great British Entrepreneur Awards celebrating another year of amazing achievements for entrepreneurs starting and growing businesses from every corner of the country. Supporting entrepreneurs is a key priority for NatWest and our dedicated programme of fully funded accelerator hubs, mentoring, insight and bespoke coaching, is specifically designed to meet the needs of entrepreneurs who want to start, scale and succeed in business. Congratulations to all of the winners and to those who were shortlisted for one of these prestigious awards.”

After picking up multiple awards himself in previous years, S3 Advertising founder Matt Jones saw his team pick-up the Entrepreneurs’ Team of the Year award. Elsewhere, the father and daughter duo of Jeff and Chloe Smith won the Entrepreneurial Spirit award as founders of Big Moose Coffee Co, and Ollie Noakes, founder of rock climbing centre Boulders, was named Small Business Entrepreneur of the Year.

The winners of each category will now go to the National Final of the NatWest Great British Entrepreneur Awards, which takes place in London in November.

Full list of winners for the Wales region:


Creative Industries Entrepreneur of the Year
David Banner & Richard Pring | Wales Interactive

Disruptor of the Year
Lucy Cohen & Sophie Hughes | Mazuma

Entrepreneur for Good Award
Sophie Rae | Ripple

Entrepreneurial Spirit Award
Chloe & Jeff Smith | Big Moose Coffee Co

Entrepreneurs’ Team of the Year
S3 Advertising

Family Business Entrepreneur of the Year
Mark, Sarah & Stephanie Harris | Pembrokeshire Wake Park

Food & Drink Entrepreneur of the Year
Sarah John & Roy Allkin | Boss Brewing Company

Scale-Up Entrepreneur of the Year
Alex Lovén | Net World Sports

Service Industries Entrepreneur of the Year
Rob Dance | ROCK

Small Business Entrepreneur of the Year
Ollie Noakes | Boulders

Start-Up Entrepreneur of the Year
Gareth Jones & Mandy Weston | Town Square Spaces

Young Entrepreneur of the Year
Callum Griffiths | Clydach Farm Group

Great British Entrepreneur of the Year (Wales)
David Banner & Richard Pring | Wales Interactive