Five AGP business leaders named 'Rising Stars' by Insider magazine

This year's cohort features individuals from across Wales who operate in a range of areas including vegan food, security technology and hospitality.

Among the 25 Rising Stars – unveiled in full in the latest Wales Business Insider magazine – are leaders of five businesses that are part of the Business Wales Accelerated Growth Programme. They are as follows:

  • Callum Griffith - Clydach Farm
  • Toby White - Market Mate
  • Chris McDermid - MM Engineering
  • Stephanie Locke - Nightingale HQ
  • Emma Taylor - Netlet Properties 


Clydach Farm, based in Abercynon, produces dog food "from farm to bowl". Founder Callum Griffiths started selling at his local market at the age of 13 and now, aged 21, heads up an operation with 20 employees that exports its products all over the globe.

23-year-old Toby White founded tech agitator MarketMate after spotting a gap in the market for content generation performed by artificial intelligence. Based at Eagle Lab in Cardiff, the firm has raised Development Bank of Wales investment and now has six full-time and four part-time members of staff.

Chris McDermid, aged 34, co-founded flood and blast defence specialist MM Engineering. The firm surpassed £2 Million of turnover in its third year of trading, with growth fuelled by £175,000 of UK Steel Enterprise and Development Bank of Wales support. 

Stephanie Locke, aged 33, founded Caerphilly-based Nightingale HQ to help businesses harness the power of artificial intelligence to develop their strategy, culture and skills. The firm is pursuing investment as part of its growth strategy.

32-year-old Emma Taylor is director of marketing and strategy for Pembrokeshire-based Netlet Properties, a property network with enterprises operating in holiday properties, housekeeping, laundry and domestic support. The business increased sales by 5% between 2019 and 2020.


Commenting on the Rising Stars list, Insider editor Douglas Friedli said:

"Every year Insider picks out 25 entrepreneurial under-40-year-olds from across Wales that have achieved great things, and who we reckon are set to achieve much more. This year’s 25 showed ambition, innovation and a willingness to remake the markets they operate in. Most also demonstrated agility to change the way they work and overcome the unique challenges that 2020 has thrown at them.”


Director of Business Wales Accelerated Growth Programme, Richard Morris, said:

"We are delighted to see five inspirational young business leaders taking part in our programme feature in this list of the most exciting entrepreneurial talent in Wales. 

All of them have turned their ideas and passion into thriving enterprises that are contributing to their local economies, creating employment and helping shape and disrupt the sectors in which they operate. 

The Accelerated Growth Programme is all about identifying businesses with high growth potential and helping them to fulfil that potential through targeted support. It's especially rewarding to see so many talented young business leaders from our client base feature on this prestigious list, and we look forward to working with them as they continue to grow."

Further information on the Business Wales Accelerated Growth Programme

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