What will you do to grow and promote your business across Wales?
Andrew Walker from the website www.businesseventsinwales.co.uk examines some of the main business organisations in Wales that host business-focused events to do just that.
The Confederation of British Industry (CBI Wales) is the Welsh arm of the CBI and its director is Emma Watkins. The CBI is a business organisation for companies (not individuals) that exists to lobby national government on issues that affect its members. Membership includes all sectors of business and the cost depends on turnover & number of employees, but starts at around £600 for the smallest companies. The CBI represents some 200,000 businesses in the UK; it speaks for all sizes of business from multi-national organisations to start-up firms. Approximately 80% of the FTSE 100 companies are CBI members and nearly half of the FTSE 350. www.cbiwales.org.uk
The Institute of Directors (IOD Wales) is administered by Robert Lloyd Griffiths, Regional Director for Wales. The IOD is an organisation for business leaders and its purpose is to help and support members in senior business roles. Unlike the CBI where membership is at company level, the IODs membership is at the individual level. Nationally there are some 60,000 individual members; in Wales close to 1000. Benefits include training & development, business advice, lobbying, networking and events. IOD Wales has its own “hub” at the Parkhouse Club where members can work, entertain, hold meetings and attend events. Membership costs £360.00 per year but there is a one-off joining fee of £220. Events at all times of the day are frequent and of high quality and are held at hotel venues across Wales; the contact for events is Debbie Trotman. www.iod.com
The Chambers of Commerce There are two “accredited” chambers in Wales (South Wales and West Cheshire & North Wales) that affiliate to the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC). Accredited Chambers are required to use the Combined Code principles of good corporate governance, be an Investor in People and work with a business improvement tool such as the Business Excellence Model. They are the perfect vehicle for small businesses to promote themselves. There are numerous other chambers across Wales of varying sizes, but these are not part of the BCC. The Chambers provide services, information and guidance to their members. Membership costs vary but start at around £200 and rise with the size of business. Benefits include business advice, promotion, skills development & training, lobbying and networking. , www.southwaleschamber.co.uk
Business in the Community (BITC) is one of the Prince’s charities. It was set up in 1982 and now has over 850 members. It is the largest and one of the oldest national business-led coalitions dedicated to corporate social responsibility. Business in the Community membership is open to all companies and organisations, regardless of sector, size, location or experience in managing their business in a responsible and sustainable way. In Wales, BITC is headed by Simon Harris and it operates throughout Wales with offices in Cardiff, Denbigh, Carmarthen and Rassau. It works in partnership with more than 100 companies in Wales providing advice and support across four areas of expertise; environment, marketplace, workplace and the community. Membership is for companies, not individuals, and starts at £1,600 for SMEs, and rises depending on turnover and number of employees. As Business in the Community is a membership charity, the annual membership fee is exempt of VAT. www.bitc.org.uk
Institute of Welsh Affairs (IWA) was founded in 1987 as an independent think-tank that promotes quality research and informed debate aimed at making Wales a better nation in which to work and live. They commission research, publish reports and policy papers, and organise events across Wales. They are a membership-based body and a wide range of individuals, businesses and other organisations directly support their activities. Their work embraces a range of topics but especially focuses on politics and the development of the National Assembly for Wales, economic development, education and culture, the environment and health. The IWA is based in Cardiff but has branches in north, and west Wales, Swansea Bay, Gwent and London. Membership costs £40 for individuals and from £250 for small organisations; benefits include a journal three times a year and invitations to regular events. www.iwa.org.uk
Cardiff Business Club was founded in 1912 and with HRH The Prince of Wales as it Patron, the Club holds dinners with speakers of international standing to address the members. These events are held in The St David’s Hotel and Spa in Cardiff Bay ten times between October and March, usually starting at 6.15pm. Membership of Cardiff Business Club for is £60 per member, or £55 if you pay online, and entitles you to attend the drinks reception and lectures at each of the events. You are also able, subject to availability, to purchase places at the dinners which are held after the lecture. The Chairman is Gerald Davies, CBE and the Secretary is Alun Davies. Cardiff Business Club is considered by many as the pre-eminent business network in Wales as the speakers are of unrivalled quality. www.cardiffbusinessclub.org
Swansea Business Club was founded in 1949 and aims to promote business within the City and County of Swansea and to enhance the profile of the city both nationally and internationally. The programme runs from September to May with a high calibre of speakers; the events are usually held at lunchtime (business suit) at various Swansea Hotel venues. Membership of the club is £30 per year; the President is Jane Clayton and the Secretary is Bruce Roberts. The Club is administered by Alastair Milburn’s company, Effective Communication. www.swanseabusinessclub.com
North Wales Business Club is around 25 years old and membership is drawn from across North Wales, Mid Wales, Merseyside, Cheshire and South Wales. It varies from representatives of large multi-national companies to sole proprietors or partners of small businesses. It usually meets at the St George's Hotel, Llandudno or other North Wales Hotel venues and on a less regular basis than Cardiff or Swansea but with a very high calibre of speaker. The events usually take the form of a Black Tie Dinner starting at 7.15pm and the dinners cost £25. Membership of North Wales Business Club costs £20 per year; the Chairman is David Williams. www.nwbc.org.uk
Wales in London is an organisation, mainly comprised of people of Welsh extraction based outside Wales, whose aim is to provide a forum in which members can contribute to the debate on issues that affect Wales. They are based in London where most of their activities take place. They charge no fee for membership but members who attend the monthly Supper Evenings are expected to pay for their dinner usually around £50.00. Wales in London also seek to promote Wales and provide a focus for Welsh exiles in London and the South East and to act as a bridgehead between London and Wales for individuals and organisations that are seeking advice, opportunities and access to contacts. Consequently, the events are of a high quality with many eminent guests and speakers.The Chairman of Wales in London is Robert John. www.walesinlondon.com
Arts & Business is a UK membership organisation and Prince’s Charity established in 1976. Its role is to promote, enable, develop and sustain mutually beneficial partnerships between business and the arts.
Arts & Business Cymru knows that when the two sectors work in truly mutual partnership, the results benefit society in far reaching and tangible ways. Supported by the Welsh Assembly Government and Arts Council of Wales, all A&B Cymru’s programmes and services are tailored to the specific needs of Wales, and its work has proven value in the current economic climate. www.artsandbusiness.org.uk/wales.
Gorwel – The Welsh Foundation for Innovation in Public Affairs. Gorwel is a new Welsh think tank. It provides a platform for all those who want to help improve the Welsh economy and the effectiveness of public services. Gorwel believes that good ideas can come from many sources and should not be stifled by the constraints of party politics. Innovation needs to be promoted in both the public and private sectors, if Wales is to achieve its full potential. Gorwel is an independent, non-party Welsh think tank whose mission is to set out a better way to deliver public services and economic prosperity in Wales. Gorwel organizes a number of research projects, conferences and public speakers events. To find out more visit our website: www.gorwel.co.uk
The Business Centre provides flexible serviced office space, conference & meeting room facilities and call answering services. The Business Centre provides flexible serviced office suites suitable for 1 - 12 people with competitive prices and instant re-location. The staff at the centre pride themselves on providing the highest level of customer service whilst offering a friendly, efficient service to all office suite, virtual and conference room clients.
A wide range of facilities are provided here including broadband access and full administrative support, as well as free onsite car parking. Give your business the professional image you need by making a big impact on a small budget, with no long term commitments.
For more information on all the above services then please contact James Mason, Centre Manager for further details http://www.thebusinesscentreonline.co.uk/contact_us.htm.
Other organizations: There are many more business organizations that are all relevant to the business activities of Wales PLC. These include the Federation of Small Businesses, the Chartered Institute of Marketing, The Chartered Institute of Management, the Law society, Professions Group Wales and many more. If you want details on specific organizations, please email Andrew at Business Events in Wales with your question.