Our Region In Action – The latest in Innovation, Sustainability, Inclusion and Connectivity

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Our Region in Action

Mid-year has witnessed a hive of activity across the four CCR strategic goal areas of Innovation, Sustainability, Inclusivity and Connectivity.

Amongst the many headlines, Fintech innovator Sonovate has introduced a major platform innovation to enhance its embedded finance offering and take its total funding service to £3 billion and beyond … the new CCR Food Challenge Partnership has opened up for enterprises and partnerships to solve two critical food challenges facing future generations in our region … Principality Building Society has been named No.1 in the UK’s Best Workplaces for Women … and Technology Connected has announced that Wales Tech Week will return as a hybrid event, fusing the connectivity of technology with the power of people, enabling top tech minds and business leaders to connect and do business …

 

INNOVATION

Fintech innovator Sonovate launches new global platform to enhance embedded finance offering

Sonovate – the Cardiff-based fintech providing a range of innovative services to help recruitment businesses engage with contractors and freelancers – has launched a cloud-native API-first feature to support its expanding number of enterprise customers: enhancing an embedded finance offering that is already changing the way businesses and people work around the world.

The launch of the new platform comes after a period of significant technology investment at Sonovate, buoyed by a consistently positive financial and operational performance that has seen Sonovate fund a total of £700m transactions in 2021 – a 58% increase on 2020’s total funding of £444m.

The new enterprise-grade invoice platform will provide instant funding decisions and credit limits, variable advance and facility management, increased automation and enhanced reporting, allowing it to serve even more businesses.

The platform also improves the user experience and useability of several Sonovate services, helping achieve greater efficiency and productivity through faster onboarding, a new wizard that supports customers’ compliance processes, API enabled connectivity that offers greater visibility across systems – and a more flexible withdrawal of funds to help customers get funding as when they need it.        

Widely tipped to be Wales’ first tech ‘unicorn’, with total funding forecast to hit £3 billion this summer, Sonovate’s continual innovation has seen them onboard more than 500 new clients since the start of 2020 – with 30,000 freelancers, contractors and gig workers in more than 40 countries now receiving payments from over 3,500 businesses funded by Sonovate.

 

SUSTAINABILITY

£2.6m Sustainable Food Challenge to improve local food production and supply

A £2.6 million challenge has been launched to encourage innovation in the production and supply of locally grown food in Southeast Wales.

The pioneering project is a partnership between Cardiff Council, Monmouthshire County Council, the Cardiff Capital Region Challenge Fund, Welsh Government and the SBRI (Small Business Research Initiative) Centre of Excellence – with a mission to identify and support projects that harness the potential of land, technology and people, to increase the sustainable production and supply of locally grown food in the Cardiff Capital Region.

The Food Challenge Partnership is open to any enterprise or partnership that can clearly demonstrate the innovation and capability to solve two fundamental issues:

  • How to increase the sustainable production of food in the region; to generate positive economic, social and governmental impacts.
  • How to supply nutritious, locally grown food whilst ensuring a fair price for producers and the wellbeing of future generations.

 

This CCR-initiated project could not come at a more prescient time, as climate change, biodiversity loss, the cost-of-living crisis, diet-related illnesses, Brexit and the Ukraine conflict have all highlighted the fact that how we produce, supply and consume food here in the Cardiff Capital Region is going to play a big part in our future sustainability.

The Challenge is a landmark opportunity to help facilitate a transition to a food system that can provide secure, affordable and healthy food while simultaneously reducing negative environmental impacts – and is open to any enterprise or partnership with the ingenuity and expertise to really make a difference in local food supply for generations to come, with potential participants invited to register their interest at https://sdi.click/spsf

 

INCLUSIVITY

Principality Building Society Named No.1 in UK’s Best Workplaces™ for Women

The Principality Building Society has secured top spot in the UK’s Best Workplaces for Women rankings for 2022.

The prestigious prize represents yet another impressive inclusive accolade for Wales’ leading mutual society – who in April secured 9th place in the Great Place to Work’s Best Workplaces (Super Large Organisations) 2022 rankings, alongside their 8th place finish in the Best Workplaces for Wellbeing (Super large Organisation) 2022 list, announced in February.

The ranking is driven directly from the feedback and comments shared anonymously by Principality’s female employees in the Great Place to Work survey – with the Building Society’s notable achievements including a flexible working policy available from day one, fully hybrid working for all, a policy that enables additional leave for dependants, a ground-breaking menopause policy and the development of a GROW network to advocate for women in the workplace.

Beyond the survey findings and hugely merited award, it’s noteworthy that Principality is one of the first building societies to have both a female CEO and Chair of the Board, with female representation at the executive committee rising from 25% in 2016 to 43% in 2022 – in a business that is fast becoming a leading light in inclusivity, consciously reflecting the diversity of its membership and society at large.

 

CONNECTIVITY

Technology Connected announces Wales Tech Week with new hybrid format

Technology Connected has announced the return of Wales Tech Week, which for the first time will be in-person as a hybrid event, from 20-23 March 2023, at the ICC.

As an international summit enabling the world’s top tech minds and business leaders to connect, learn and do business, Wales Tech Week has previously been an extremely successful all-virtual festival, connecting to key tech communities in 57 countries  – and now this destination event promises to offer the best of both worlds, fusing the connectivity of technology with the power of people

Created in Cardiff by non-profit organisation Technology Connected, Wales Tech Week was founded to amplify the profile of Wales’s emerging technology industry, both domestically and internationally – showcasing Welsh technology, championing our tech industries on a global stage and promoting Wales as a centre of tech expertise.

With a mission to be inclusive, inspiring, informative and highly interactive, Wales Tech Week 2023 will bring together the tech ecosystem across three packed days, spotlighting our region and Wales as a great place to start, grow and scale tech.

Beginning with a two-day international Tech Summit for the industry to connect and collaborate, day three will bring the inaugural Talent4Tech event, aimed at inspiring the next generation of tech talent – from apprentices and graduates to people who are looking to upskill or reskill – inspiring and supporting their journey and helping them find their place in our regional techscape.

 

Discover more about the major developments transforming our region through Innovation, Sustainability, Inclusivity and Connectivity – go to: www.cardiffcapitalregion.wales

 

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