Cardiff is growing rapidly as a centre for economic activity and as a great place to work and live.

Not only are financial and professional services firms being attracted to relocate to the city but existing companies are expanding and there is an exciting new start-up scene in sectors such as life sciences and the digital economy.

The inaugural Cardiff Business Awards in 2015 brought the business community together for the first time to recognise those entrepreneurial and innovative ventures that are making a difference.

In 2021, the seventh Cardiff Business Awards will continue to celebrate the best businesses in Cardiff and the vast potential that exists within the capital city of Wales.

The black-tie event will take place on the 26th November at City Hall. The evening will start at 6.30pm with a drinks reception and the awards ceremony will take place after dinner.

I look forward to seeing you there!

Liz Brookes

Grapevine Event Management

Cardiff Business Awards



Our Judges

Frank Holmes

Founder Partner, Gambit Corporate Finance

Frank Holmes is a Fellow Chartered Accountant, founder partner of Gambit Corporate Finance, voted Wales Dealmaker of the Year three times, ‘Best Chartered Accountant in Practice’, and recognised for his “Outstanding Contribution to Finance”.

A serial investor and non-executive director of high-profile companies, education institutions, chairs Bobath charity, and the CCR’s Economic Growth Partnership tasked with advising on economic growth and leveraging investment exceeding £4 billion.

Liz Brookes

Founder and Director of Grapevine Event Management & Cardiff Business Awards

Liz founded Grapevine Event Management in March 2011 and it is now one of the most well recognised corporate events companies in Wales delivering high quality creative and innovative events. Liz is the co-founder of the Cardiff Business Awards. Speaking about the awards Liz has said “the levels of success, ambition and achievement being shown by so many firms in Cardiff continues to cement the city’s place as a leading commercial centre for the UK.”

Ken Poole FRICS

Head of Economic Development, Cardiff Council

Ken is the Head of Economic Development at Cardiff Council. He is responsible for the implementation of Cardiff Council’s economic strategy. Ken has worked with many of the city’s leading businesses to set up in Cardiff and on key regeneration initiatives for the Council, which will have a transformational impact on the City and region. Ken also coordinates the Council’s UK and overseas business marketing initiatives to promote the city.

Kathryn Roberts

Senior Office Partner Eversheds Sutherland Cardiff and CBI Wales Chair.

Kath is the Senior Partner of Eversheds Sutherland’s Cardiff office; she also leads their Real Estate team. Eversheds Sutherland is a global commercial law firm of 5,000+ people with 69 offices in 32 different jurisdictions.  Kath took over the role of Chair of CBI Wales in January 2021, having spent the previous year as Vice Chair. She is also on the Board of the Maggie’s Cancer Centre in Cardiff, a Trustee of Artes Mundi, a member of the Thriving at Work Leadership Council which looks to improve the way that businesses manage mental health in the workplace, and is a founding member of Monumental Welsh Women, a group focused on increasing the amount of public arts representing women in Wales. Kath is passionate about the promotion of diversity, gender parity and social mobility, in the firm and wider business community.

Carolyn Brownell

Associate Director, FOR Cardiff

Carolyn has over ten years’ experience in the marketing, managing and developing places across the UK. She has held management roles at various companies, most recently at FOR Cardiff (Cardiff’s Business Improvement District, BID) where she is the Head of Marketing and Communications. Her role requires her to deliver strategic guidance, to organise and execute B2B/B2C marketing, events and communication activities to FOR Cardiff’s member businesses and promote Cardiff as a destination of choice.

Victoria Mann

Founder and CEO of NearMeNow

Following a successful career spanning ten years in financial risk management, Victoria launched her multi-award winning business, NearMeNow, specialising in destination management software and smart town ecosystems. Recently named Welsh Digital Woman of the Year for her contribution to the wider digital community and for levelling the playing field for female led businesses, Victoria was also recognised as one of the top three Technology Leaders in Wales in the same year and now sits on the Cardiff Capital Region Business Council.  Her passion for economic prosperity within Wales sees her supporting initiatives from start-up incubators to youth entrepreneurship initiatives; promoting entrepreneurship across many of the region’s secondary schools, colleges and universities.

Peter Umbleja

Independent Business Consultant

Peter is a FCA qualified professional with strong commercial acumen gained over 47 years working for firms of Chartered Accountants. He has spent over 30 years in leadership roles including Managing Director of a medium sized firm of chartered accountants in South Wales. During this period, in addition to achieving substantial growth for the firm, Peter worked closely to give support and direction to principally owner managed clients to enable them to manage their business. This was instrumental in ensuring clients became focussed on business performance improvement and strategy implementation to meet long term sustainable sales/profit growth.

Ravi Nalliah

Chief Strategy Officer and Co-Founder at TrakCel Ltd

He has over 10 years experience in the pharma industry focussed on supply chain management, including the implementation of IT solutions to enhance supply chain efficiency and budgetary control. Ravi is a seasoned CSO and founder with a strong background in finance and healthcare and clinical services and holds a BSc in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Cardiff University.

Samantha Toombs

BT Enterprise, Director

Sam runs the corporate and public sector business across Wales and South West and she is also the first female Chair of the Board for both geographies across BT Group. Sam is a business transformation champion and has over 20 years’ experience in accelerating digital services for clients and the customers and citizens they serve. Sam’s team are mobilised throughout Wales and South West, proudly serving customers in the places which they live and love. Her local team is passionate about helping accelerate and exploit digital technology, increasing spend with local suppliers and creating local jobs for local people to ultimately improve the local economy overall. Proudly BT employs over 5000 employees in Wales, spends £340m with local suppliers and adds £971m GVA to the Welsh economy.


How many categories can I enter?

You can enter up to 2 categories.

Is my company eligible to enter the awards?

The business must be located within the local authority area of Cardiff County Council and business rates must also be paid to Cardiff County Council. The business should have started to trade on or before 1 April 2020.

What is the judging process?

The judging process can be found here.

How long is the interview?

The interview should take no longer than 15 minutes. A 10 minute presentation and 5 minutes of Q&A. No computer aids are allowed.

If I/my company is shortlisted, do I get any free tickets to the Awards night?

Everyone is asked to purchase tickets from the website in advance of the evening. Priority is given to shortlisted companies and sponsors first but it is on a first come first served basis so get you are advised to book early to guarantee the tickets you require.

How much are tickets for the Cardiff Business Awards?

Tickets are £95+VAT.Payment must be made prior to the event.

What is included in the ticket price?

The ticket includes a 3 course meal with coffee.

How do I book tickets for the Awards?

You can reserve your tickets via the booking link and you will be sent an invoice.  The invoice must be paid before the awards night.

Are there any COVID regulations to attend the awards?

In order to protect each other and keep Cardiff’s business community safe, the organisers request that you only attend if you have been double vaccinated (full COVID-19 vaccination both doses received at least 14 days before the event) OR carry out a NHS COVID-19 Lateral Flow Device (LFD) test (taken within 48 hours of entry).  Tests can be ordered through the Welsh Government website here.

These requirements will be subject to Welsh Government advise changing.


Are tickets refundable?

Refunds are available as long as cancellation is received no later than 10 days prior to the event.  Read our full T&C’s here.

Someone that was coming can’t any more, can someone take their place?

Yes, just let us know so who they are and if they have any dietary requirements.

Where are the awards held?

The Awards are held in Cardiff City Hall. Directions can be found here

There is pay and display parking around the civic buildings.

What’s the dress code?

Black Tie.

Can I pre-order wine?

Yes, you will receive a pre-order wine list from the venue when you have purchased your tickets.

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