13th April 2021

This major conversation shared ideas and perspectives on how we can make sure Swansea is a an entrepreneurial city with a flourishing independent economy.

Thank you to Swansea Council, Indycube, Urban Foundry, FR8PK, Swansea University, University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Young Dragons, Swansea BID, Business Wales and many others for working in collaboration with 4theRegion.


As a region we need to do what we can to support start ups and entrepreneurs and encourage them to stay within South West Wales. We invited entrepreneurs prior to the event to discuss the opportunities in our region.

What can we do?


Tell a More Positive Story

  • Promotion website for small local business
  • A community magazine to promote what’s going on in the city and to share our stories.
  • Celebrate and focus on the people and the vibe
  • Have a plan to differentiate ourselves from Cardiff and Bristol and be ‘us’.
  • A campaign to encourage students to stay in Swansea over the summer and engage with what’s going on in the city.
  • Media coverage and promotion of activities in the city.
  • Showcase our community and what projects are going on.
  • Using the large screen in Castle Square to showcase more of the city. 
  • A storytelling project promoting communities and their stories.
  • Move away from social media for promotion of events and businesses.

Affordable / Accessible Space

  • More affordable spaces and flexible planning laws for businesses to encourage use of disused spaces in the city
  • A permanent home for young people to showcase their business ideas/products/services. 
  • A home for start-ups to go to get advice, working space, guidance, network
  • More Industrial Premises – currently no private investment. There are no grants available for speculative building, although evidence shows they would be filled if they were built.

Events & Networking

  • Annual creative & marketing conference. Spaces for independent businesses to network.
  • Hub for user generated micro content promoting the area’s history and opportunities.
  • Celebration event each year for businesses that have started in business
  • 4theRegion Business Awards – Creativity, Sustainability, Health & Well being etc to acknowledge the contribution of existing businesses and encourage others
  • A collaborative event with us, WG, local Universities, local authority and business mentors who wanted to support those who had ideas and wanted to pitch them and take them forward.
  • More open studio type events for creative businesses. Opportunities to springboard small, independent businesses.
  • To get the city on the map as a place for concerts/shows – Loads of international acts in the new arena.
  • Service jams – which bring people together to implement innovative ideas and work on what needs to be done.
  • A big red business bus moving around the city promoting different businesses!

Focus on Food As A Key Strength

  • Tourism and Artisan Food promotion – Swansea city centre to have really good artisan food shops – local sourced produce.
  • Moving pop-up events in all areas of the city
  • A space for food producers to promote themselves
  • A strategy for Swansea to become a healthy foodie location
  • Running a street market is really expensive, stall fees are high – so the goods sold are “high end” and not affordable for people on low incomes. Enable more affordable market spaces and stalls.
  • A space for start-ups focused on street food would be huge draw

Wellbeing As A Differentiator

  • Joined up strategy for participatory leisure activities which are based on our outstanding natural environment
  • Health, wellbeing event in Swansea with different events going on for a week – with different zones throughout the city
  • More activities for the younger generations, such as a play park on the seafront car park between the Marriott and County Hall.
  • We need the Tidal Lagoon to happen.

Young People

  • Increased support for young people who aren’t graduates or may not want to pursue higher education.
  • Research – ask young people what they want in order to get them to stay and what they would like to see happen in Swansea.

Accessibility, Transport & Infrastructure

  • Improved public transport services in Swansea. Increased services and improved facilities and links to the rest of the region.
  • We need a solid travel strategy with a strong focus on Active travel and sustainable transport.
  • Better signage and way making around the city. An improved sense of direction.
  • Accessibility – Improved space for wheelchair users and for people who need more time to develop their ideas who need a more inclusive space.


After this event, we need to design a set of priorities for various stakeholders and a plan or manifesto of what needs to happen.

Starting Up in the Region is open to any student, who can join for as little as £5 a month.

If you would like to stay involved with on-going developments and events surrounding Swansea, it’s businesses and the wider region, one way you can do this is to reach out to us (email zoe@4theregion.org.uk)