Innovation centre director wins prestigious entrepreneurship award

Jamie McGowan, campus director at the Welsh Innovation Centre for Enterprise, has been crowned UK Entrepreneurs’ Champion at the Natwest Great British Entrepreneur Awards.

Launched six years ago by Welsh entrepreneur Francesca James, the awards shine a light on the hard work and inspiring stories of business owners and innovators across the UK.

The 2019 award took place on January 24th in Coutts, London, and attracted businesses and professionals from all over the country. McGowan represented the Welsh startup community at the event.

Speaking after the win, Jamie said: “To say I’m shocked is an understatement. I was delighted to have been chosen for the Wales and south-west England award, so to have been named Entrepreneurs’ Champion at the grand final in London is something I’ll be proud of for the rest of my life.

“We have an incredible community at ICE which makes my job as Campus Director a lot easier. It’s a pleasure to come in each morning, and that’s down to the environment that we’ve fostered at the Campus, where the community support each other to grow and develop their businesses.

“Self-employment is a lifestyle that is only going to increase in the future, and we are proud to champion the role of the entrepreneur in today’s economy.”

In November, Jamie won the Wales and south-west Regional Award. He was then invited to attend the grand final alongside other regional winners.

Francesca said: “We added an Entrepreneurs’ Champion category to the NatWest Great British Entrepreneur Awards because while entrepreneurs often talk about the fantastic support to which they owe their success, these individuals are rarely celebrated, and we believe they are every bit as deserving as the entrepreneurs themselves.

“Jamie’s application really stood out as a clear frontrunner for this category. He currently supports over 200 startup businesses and spends his days linking, networking and introducing entrepreneurs to one another, developing an ecosystem with the wider businesses community in south Wales.

“Jamie told us that ‘true happiness comes from making a living doing the one thing you love’ and it’s inspiring to recognise someone that’s so passionate and enthusiastic about enabling entrepreneurs to fulfil their potential.”