Swansea businesses Bionema Ltd and CanDo Laundry Services have been crowned winners at The South Wales Chamber of Commerce Welsh Business Awards 2018.

Bionema Ltd won the Success Through Innovation category, sponsored by Western Power Distribution, in a glittering awards ceremony held at City Hall in Cardiff, where businesses from across Wales were recognised for their innovation, growth and success.

Bionema Ltd specialises in chemical-free, organic crop protection. They focus on developing natural products to protect crops from insect damage and enhance food security. Their purpose is to help reduce the use of synthetic pesticides which harm the environment and negatively impact on human health.

Dr Minshad Ali Ansari, Founder and CEO of Bionema, said:

We are proud to win this award and consider it a testament to our innovative business. Not only does it acknowledge the hard work from everyone at Bionema Ltd, but it also recognises our potential to have a global reach with commercial biopesticides that are more environmentally friendly.

Daniel Shepherd from Port Talbot-based CanDo Laundry Services also scooped an award, winning the Young Entrepreneur of the Year category, sponsored by Associated British Ports. In 2012, Daniel founded the company at the age of 19, showing true entrepreneurship. Ever since, the business has become a one-stop shop for businesses providing everything from sheets and table linen to floor mats and workwear. The company aims to provide outstanding commercial cleaning services, using the latest technical information in textile care.

Daniel Shepherd said:

I’m very proud to have achieved this award. It’s important for young people to enter the business world and not let their age limit them. I’m glad to see the Welsh Business Awards recognising the dedication of so many young entrepreneurs and I’m pleased that I can be a part of that.

Heather Myers, CEO of South and Mid Wales Chamber of Commerce said:

The calibre of entries for this year’s Awards was extremely high and I think we have ended up with some very worthy winners.

Bionema Ltd’s use of naturally occurring organisms to help minimise pesticides is clearly a positive step forward. Their innovative approach in taking care of the environment and our own health really stood out. We were also impressed by the entrepreneurship of CanDo Laundry Services, as shown by Daniel’s hand-on approach in the business. His clear vision and ambition show Daniel is up for a challenge, whilst his business continues to grow.

Other winners included West Wales Holiday Cottages from Ceredigion for Excellence in Marketing and Communications, Transcend Packaging Ltd for Start-Up Business of the Year and the overall winners on the night, CellPath Ltd from Powys who were crowned Welsh Business of the Year.

The University of South Wales supported the Welsh Business Awards for another year as the headline sponsor. Other sponsors included NPTC Group, Western Power Distribution, Pro-Steel Engineering, Associated British Ports South Wales, Construct A Quote, Heart Radio, Atradius, Bevan & Buckland, Milford Waterfront, and Effective Communication; who all sponsored individual categories of the awards.

The awards aim to recognise the very best from businesses nationwide. Welsh businesses, whether small, medium or large, all play a fundamental role in driving the economy forward.