Wales’ largest coworking community has celebrated a decade of enterprise as it looks back on the impact it has made in the last 10 years.

Since launching in 2012, the Campus has generated a net GVA benefit of £63.1m to the Welsh economy, created 800 full-time-equivalent jobs and has supported thousands of individuals into starting businesses.

Through its 5-9 Club, an after-hours programme to help people start a business from scratch, the team have supported 698 individuals from across the Valleys regions since 2019.

A total of 85 per cent of those potential founders are female, a stark contrast to the fact that across Wales, only 28 per cent of businesses are owned by women.

This translates into the business community at Welsh ICE whose members are 58 per cent female.

The initiative has also worked to create more pathways into entrepreneurship for disabled and neurodiverse founders - something it has a strong record in.

MS for Caerphilly Hefin David said: “I passionately believe in small business and did my PHD on that very subject. The importance of local connections and having somewhere to go is crucial for successful start-ups and that’s exactly why Welsh ICE is so important. They bring people together.

“I’ve been working with ICE since I was first elected in 2016 and over that period I’ve seen the enterprise grow; going from strength to strength, supporting thousands of people into business and creating hundreds of jobs.

“ICE is one of my real community passions and I’m so proud that they are a part of my constituency in Caerphilly. I look forward to seeing what the future holds for their community. Here’s to another brilliant ten years!”

CEO of Welsh ICE, Llinos Neale, said: “When the founders started ICE, it was with a vision of growing a community that would enable local enterprise to flourish, bringing the concept of coworking as a structure to nurture and grow startups.

“They were told it couldn’t happen in Caerphilly - that the vision of a flourishing community of innovators was reserved for the likes of Silicon Valley but today our community has grown far beyond the county borough.

"There are, of course, challenges to be overcome: the cost of living crisis, the aftermath of the pandemic, and the ongoing impact of Brexit and climate change - but we firmly believe that our community has a huge part to play. When people work together, they can accomplish incredible things - we’ve shown that already, and I know our members will go on to show that, as they adapt and improvise to meet those challenges head-on, and grow.

“The first 10 years of ICE have been amazing and we’re excited to see what opportunities, partners and people the next decade, and beyond, will bring.”