Cwmbran businesswomen Kelli Aspland and Laura Waters, co-founders of Solar Buddies, have won Retail Entrepreneur of the Year for the Wales region at the 2023 Allica Bank Great British Entrepreneur Awards.

Recognised as one of the most prestigious accolades in the entrepreneurial world, The Allica Bank Great British Entrepreneur Awards received more than 5,000 applications this year alone. The awards are judged by a panel of some of the UK's most successful entrepreneurs and business leaders, including the founders of Specsavers, Poundland, and Innocent.

Laura Waters said: "We are absolutely delighted to win this award. It’s been an incredible journey since we first created the idea for our product in 2011, and this achievement highlights the hard work of our team in building our child-friendly sunscreen applicator into an award-winning business."

Kelli Aspland said: "To be recognised among such innovative UK companies is truly an honour. We hope this helps us spread our mission of making sun safety fun and easy for families across the UK, US and beyond."

The judges said they were “highly impressed with Solar Buddies. They recognised that solving a real problem for customers is a dream for entrepreneurs, and the team at Solar Buddies has successfully done just that. The judges acknowledged the business’s significant global growth potential with its current product. They expressed eagerness to witness the growth of revenue streams through variations or ancillary products and to learn more about the product’s sustainability credentials.”

Solar Buddies is an innovative sunscreen applicator designed to make the process of applying sunscreen fun and efficient for children and parents. Since launching their product, it has become a viral sensation with influencers on social media platforms such as Tiktok and Instagram, and was featured on the 2023 season of Dragons’ Den, gaining an £80,000 investment from business titans Deborah Meaden and Peter Jones.

Kelli and Laura also jointly took home the Business Person of the Year award at the South Wales Argus Business Awards 2023.