At a glittering awards ceremony at the Cardiff Millennium Stadium on Thursday 12th November 2015, Jo Ashburner Farr – CEO of social enterprise Red Dragon Manufacturing Ltd in Swansea was awarded the coveted title of Entrepreneur of the Year (Manufacturing) 2015.
The awards were organised by the Great British Entrepreneur Awards and Fresh Business Thinking, acknowledging the hard work and inspiring stories of Welsh entrepreneurs and business in Wales.
Jo says ‘….really this is a huge achievement for our micro business. It recognises manufacturing as a viable business model as a whole but the fact that Red Dragon is a social enterprise makes winning even more special. This award was awarded to me (and by definition to the Red Dragon team) over and above larger, more established and non-social profit companies - so for the manufacturing sector as a whole and specifically for the social profit ethos this is great news.
Red Dragon rehabilitates people in the Welsh community through training in practical skills and the medium of traditional sewn flag making. The company has never been grant dependent but relies solely on revenue generated from sales to support the employment of its growing workforce. The company is one of the few companies remaining in the UK who make this quality product and was official supplier to the NATO Summit Wales in 2014. The business recently invested funding received from Finance Wales and the WCVA in state of the art digital textile sublimation technology and supplies b2b and b2c worldwide through online sales and referrals.
Christine Watson MBE, Managing Director of Discovery at Swansea University and Trustee Director of Red Dragon says ‘it is reassuring that the business community, our peers and our customers have embraced what we do with belief in our mission and soul of our products. Jo consistently pushes boundaries to benefit the growth and credibility of the business and manufacturing in Wales and the UK as a sustainable business model’.
Jo says ‘Winning this award over very many other worthy candidates supports my ambition to achieve positive outcomes and sustainable long term employment for a skilled workforce and manufacturing as whole in the UK.