15.15 – 16.00 Wednesday 7th September, Great Hall Auditorium

Chair : Professor Andy Penaluna

Trained as a designer who used creative thinking to solve other people’s problems, Andy’s businesses and educational interventions have always aimed to add value. He joined the enterprise and entrepreneurship debate in 2005, and within a year won international acclaim in Brazil, based on his long-standing intelligence gathering from alumni.

In 2011-12 when Chair of EEUK, he proposed that a Quality Assurance Agency guidance document was required for the University sector, and subsequently led QAA’s work. Notably, in March 2022 QAA announced that all Subject Benchmark Statement should consider enterprise and entrepreneurship. Moreover, as a world first, this catapulted him into the UN in Geneva, where he supervised research and policy development, informing the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. He was a member of the founding team that developed the EU Joint Research Centre’s EntreComp Framework and led many of the related innovation discussions. Andy has worked at all levels of education, from Primary Schools to Post Doctorate levels. In Wales he was academic lead for the development of Skills Essential to the Four Purposes, which includes ‘Enterprising Creative Contributors’ as one of the Four Purposes of the new school curriculum. Going full circle, Andy is once again a happy freelancer.

Carys Roberts, Welsh Government

Carys is Head of Business Wales and SME delivery at Welsh Government with responsibility for the development of an entrepreneurial culture and delivery of support for entrepreneurs and SME’s in Wales.

She started her career working in the corporate environment for the Disney company in the USA and then returned to manage Disney stores across the South West, with responsibility for Sales, managing and empowering staff to deliver the Disney experience to all visitors.

She went on to work for the Young Enterprise charity leading enterprise programmes with schools, college and Universities across south-east Wales. This ignited her passionate for supporting young entrepreneurs that took her career into public service through a variety of roles at the Welsh Development Agency, working on the Entrepreneurship Action Plan and latterly, Welsh Government.

She has led on the Welsh Government’s Youth Entrepreneurship Strategy including the development of the Role Model network and Big Ideas Wales campaign to encourage entrepreneurship amongst under 25 year olds and inspiring partners to play an active part in supporting young people. More recently is responsible for delivery of the support for self-employment as part of the Welsh Governments Young Persons Guarantee. Carys played an active part in the development of the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Wales, taking forward lessons learnt from the Regional Entrepreneurship Acceleration Programme, to drive forward business start-up and business growth through her leadership of Business Wales.

Bethan Cousins, Development Bank of Wales

Bethan Cousins is new business director at the investments team for the Development Bank of Wales, working with a number of different companies to structure bespoke investments to suit them.

She joined the Development Bank in 2001 to focus on equity investments and now has a wealth of experience in venture capital deals. She works across a variety of sectors, specialising in technology, media, manufacturing and business services.

Bethan works with a variety of business and management teams, and has been involved in a number of complex development capital deals.

She is also a law graduate and Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Accountants.

Ben Cottam, Federation of Small Businesses

Ben Cottam is Head of Wales at FSB (Federation of Small Businesses) – Wales’ largest business representative organisation. FSB is a leading voice on a number of issues relating to the economy including entrepreneurship, self-employment, business support and growth, infrastructure and wider issues around economic development.

Ben joined FSB from accountancy professional body ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) where he led ACCA Wales for over 8 years helping support the development of the profession across the private, public and third sectors. Earlier in his career, Ben also worked within the National Assembly for Wales, now Senedd Cymru.

Ben is a member of a number of boards throughout Wales including the Strategic Board for Business Wales – Welsh Government’s business support function and Welsh Government’s Shadow Social Partnership Council. He has for a long time served on the Local Advisory Board of Cardiff & Vale College’s Career Ready programme which delivers career-focussed employability opportunities for young people across South Wales.

Dr David Bozward 

David is a serial technology entrepreneur, educator, researcher and authority on international youth entrepreneurship and education with over 20 years entrepreneurial business experience.

As a senior academic David has a track record for delivering highly rated entrepreneurship education, developing a portfolio of business management degrees and managing a business school to deliver quality and exceptional student experience.

David is a trustee of the charity Albion Business School which provides free UK university business and entrepreneurship education to female students from the poorest countries in the world.

David’s main research interests lie across three themes within the research area of entrepreneurship: the characteristics of nascent entrepreneurs, the rural entrepreneurial ecosystem and the impacts of entrepreneurship education.