Entrepreneur Mario flies the flag for Wales

The owner of the award-winning Pendine Park Teaching Care Centre has been flying the flag for Wales in a competition to find the UK’s top entrepreneur.

Mario Kreft came within an ace of winning the North West and North Wales Regional Final Entrepreneur Challenge.

He was the only Welsh representative in the final stages of the prestigious competition sponsored by the Sunday Times and the Royal Banks of Scotland.

What particularly impressed the judges was Mr Kreft’s vision for the development of a new way providing dementia care and developing services in the community too.

The Teaching Care Centre, run by Smartcare, is a part of the Pendine Park care organisation.

In addition to being a successful businessman, Mr Kreft is a leading figure in the social care sector.

Earlier this year, he was named as one of the 50 most influential people in social care in the UK by the magazine, Caring Business. Mr Kreft is the Honorary Chief Executive a co-founder of Care Forum Wales and was responsible for establishing the Wales Care Awards.

Work on the £4 million centre of excellence at Pendine Park has now started.

It will provide a boost for the area’s economy as the development will create up to 75 new jobs, taking the number of people employed by the Pendine Park group to more than 500.

Among the first to congratulate Mr Kreft was Wrexham AM Lesley Griffiths, who said: "The Entrepreneur Challenge is widely recognised as one of the top business awards in the country.

“For Mario to be the only Welsh finalist is a great achievement in itself. However, when you consider that some of the competition he was up against, are nationally recognised companies - then you begin to appreciate what he has achieved.

"To have reached the final is a wonderful achievement for Mario personally but I know he will regard this as an accolade for Wales and for Wrexham too. Well done!"

Mr Kreft said the whole process had been extremely enjoyable and he thanked the Pendine Park team who had put together “such a strong submission.”