A PENARTH businessman has been recognised as one of the leading directors in Wales at the IoD Wales Director of the Year Awards.

James Taylor, founder of SuperStars, was awarded the Director of the Year Award for Talent and Innovation at the fourth annual awards held at the SWALEC Stadium.

Having set up the child development organisation straight from university with just £1,000, during the last seven years James has grown SuperStars to a multi award-winning organisation employing 240 staff and working with 62,500 children a week.

Providing subject specialists in sport, music, art and drama, SuperStars works with over 400 primary schools in South Wales and the South West of England.

Earlier this year, the 31-year-old entrepreneur was appointed Chairman of the Entrepreneurship Panel for Wales, which has been set up to provide the Welsh Government with strategic guidance and expertise on the development and delivery of the entrepreneurship agenda in Wales.

On winning the award, James said: “I’m honoured to have been recognised by these awards. I’m extremely proud of what the business has achieved and feel it is worthy of an award, but I’m naturally biased, so it is always nice to get external recognition that what we’re doing is worthy of being celebrated.

“While the business is a commercial success, it is also a success socially helping to raise the standards of learning in over 400 schools, which is as important for me. My passion comes from developing bright futures for children by giving outstanding experiences and opportunities.

“As an ambassador for Wales’ young entrepreneurs of the future, I hope that by winning this award my story will inspire future young directors and self-starters and show that age is not a barrier to business success.”

IoD Wales director Robert Lloyd Griffiths said: “Our Director of the Year Awards are a flagship event within the Welsh business calendar and I look forward to the celebration more each year.

“It is great to have the opportunity to honour top business people from across Wales, where so many innovative and thriving businesses are based and I am delighted that we were once again able to promote excellence in business leadership in Wales.

“I am always thrilled and proud of the calibre and quality of all our award finalists and am mindful that there is, in the wider business world, an ever increasing sense of hope and confidence for continued improvements in the economy of Wales – and long may that continue!”

Edwina Hart MBE, CstJ AM, Minister for Economy, Science and Transport and Director General of the Institute of Directors, Simon Walker, also welcomed guests and spoke at the awards. Mrs Hart said: “I would like to congratulate all this year’s winners from what was another strong field of entries. The winners demonstrate the great talent we have in the business world in Wales across a range of sectors. The enthusiasm, hard work and talent of our business men and women is vital to driving forward the Welsh economy, creating jobs and wealth.”