Ruthin entrepreneur Rhian Parry has been named one of the UK’s 100 most inspirational female entrepreneurs by Small Business Britain’s f:Entrepreneur ‘#ialso100’ campaign.
Rhian, who founded Workplace Worksafe – one of the leading independent suppliers of health and safety equipment, personal protection equipment (PPE) and branded workwear in 2005 – is recognised alongside 99 female entrepreneurs from across the UK who are flourishing despite the challenges thrown up by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Now in its fourth year, f:Entrepreneur was launched in 2017 to highlight female role models in business. It specifically aims to showcase trailblazing female entrepreneurs that lead small businesses alongside other responsibilities, such as volunteering, mentoring and community support activities. This year’s campaign celebrates inspiring and resilient female entrepreneurs that are succeeding despite Covid-19.
Rhian set up Workplace Worksafe to supply personal protection equipment, and later diversified into specialist areas such as protection items for offshore windfarms. The firm has more recently developed high-specification protection transportation systems for energy sector components, which has driven significant business growth in recent years. The company employs 13 people at its base on the Lon Parcwr Industrial Estate in Ruthin.
Workplace Worksafe has been assisted by the Business Wales Accelerated Growth Programme (AGP) which provides targeted support for ambitious growing firms. The programme is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government.
Commenting on her inclusion in the #ialso100 list, Rhian said:
“I am incredibly honoured to have been selected as one of Top 100 inspirational female entrepreneurs in the UK. The team and I have had to work incredibly hard to keep the business moving forward in these challenging times. To have the business community’s recognition at this time is a very proud moment.”
Since signing up to the Business Wales Accelerated Growth Programme (AGP) programme in 2015, Workplace Worksafe has received mentoring and specialist advice on marketing, public relations and sales. This support has proved “invaluable” according to Rhian Parry:
“It’s been so helpful to have the support of our relationship manager Idris Price and expert coaches to help us navigate the challenges that come with growing a business, particularly over the last few years. I am very grateful for the support we have received from the Business Wales Accelerated Growth Programme and would recommend it to any business looking to scale up and grow.”
Richard Morris of the Excelerator Consortium, which delivers the Business Wales Accelerated Growth Programme, said:
“We are delighted to see Rhian included on this prestigious list. Despite the significant obstacles of the last year, her story shows that female entrepreneurship continues to grow and flourish in Wales. The resilience Rhian has shown is hugely valuable, and we are confident it will set her up for continued success as we look ahead to better times.”
Workplace Worksafe has been recognised with several prestigious awards in recent years. In 2019, a product designed and developed by Rhian, and manufactured in Wales, won the highly commended award from the British Safety Industry Federation (BSIF). Rhian also scooped a Womenspire award from equality body Chwarae Teg for her contribution to the rural economy in 2018.