The future economy will have to be more sustainable, with clean energy at the heart of everything we do. Many Welsh businesses are at the forefront of that change, with new enterprises coming up with dynamic solutions to the challenges we now face.
One example is Bridgend-based Nemein, a firm specialising in sustainable engineering solutions for the energy sector.
Here, Nemein chief executive Suzanna Bourne, explains her company's vision and history and advises others leading a business through a time of change.
Tell us about Nemein.
So, first a little bit of background on what I was doing before we founded Nemein in 2013 because that was key to how the company came into being.
I was headhunted to turn around an ailing oil and gas company in the south-west of England. It was while working on that project that we developed three patents, and it was on those patents that we founded Nemein. We reduce the environmental impact of engineering processes in the oil and gas sectors through the products we make, as well as improving safety and efficiency.
At the beginning of the last decade, external events – including the Deepwater Horizon, Macondo disaster in the Gulf of Mexico – accelerated the need for technology to detect and replace battery power. We have developed a range of services and products, including complimentary, sustainable technologies to increase safety and efficiency while also reducing environmental impact.
We've taken novel ideas to solve the problems and issues that concern our clients and developed a range of market-interrupting products. These are resilient, long-term answers to energy provision for drilling activities because they remove the need for battery replacement and the interruption of measurement and data logging. It's genuinely sustainable technology, which transfers for use in the renewables energy sector.
We have now expanded into a group of companies, operating globally across oil, gas and several engineering sectors.
What are your proudest moments in business so far?
There are lots of things which make us proud of where we are and where we've come from as a company. Our advanced technologies have been recognised with several awards, including the South Wales Business Awards, the Bridgend Business Forum Awards and the National Training Federation Awards Cymru.
Our innovations are a constant source of pride, such as the development of a new way of harvesting, storing and using energy in drilling operations. These kinds of innovations aim to improve safety and efficiency, while also potentially preventing environmental disasters. That's a huge motivational factor in what we do.
At the centre of our business is a committed and happy team. And I think that's what we're most proud of because it's this team which is helping us develop into a fast-growing and dynamic firm coming up with breakthrough technology which will help the world for years to come.
If you were starting again, what would you do differently?
We'd take more time when recruiting people to ensure we get the right fit. Putting together the right team for your business feels like a tricky jigsaw puzzle sometimes, but when you've completed the puzzle, it's well worth the effort.
We'd also have put a greater emphasis on messaging around the technology and its potential impact so that non-engineers can understand it.
Not only that, but we would also ensure we sought the expertise we needed earlier. That would have given us an even bigger head start when we were beginning our business.
How has support from Business Wales AGP helped your business?
Business Wales AGP help has provided us with crucial support around strategic planning and raising investment.
We've also had valuable legal and marketing support which has been incredibly helpful. And on learning and development, the ILM Leadership Level 5 programme provided by Business Wales AGP is the best thing I've ever done on learning and development.
What advice and guidance would you give other businesses starting?
● Believe in yourself and don't be afraid to show your passion for what you're doing.
● Develop clear messages for your business and personal vision.
● Be persistent – never give up.
● Think out of the box.
● Go wherever you must to achieve your goals.
For more information on Nemein, visit here.