Dylan Jones-Evans OBE Ph.D FRSA (born 16 May 1966) is Professor of Entrepreneurship and Strategy at Bristol Business School and visiting professor of entrepreneurship at the University of Turku in Finland. He is also the creator and director of the Wales Fast Growth 50, the annual barometer of entrepreneurial firms in Wales.
Following a B.Sc (Hons) in Physics, an M.Sc in Technical Change and Industrial Strategy from Manchester University, and a Ph.D in Business Management from Aston University, Jones-Evans held postdoctoral posts at Durham University Business School and University College Dublin (as an EU Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellow). At the age of 29, he was appointed chair of entrepreneurship and small business management at the University of Glamorgan in 1996 (where he set up the Welsh Enterprise Institute). He has subsequently held academic chairs at the University of Wales Bangor and NEWI in Wrexham. He was Director of the National Entrepreneurship Observatory at Cardiff University for the period 2005-2008 and Director of Enterprise and Innovation at the University of Wales 2008-2013.
Jones-Evans has published over 100 articles within edited books, academic conference proceedings and refereed journals (including the Journal of Economic Geography, R&D Management, Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, Small Business Economics, International Small Business Journal, Technovation and Regional Studies). Along with Professor Sara Carter, he is the author of the best-selling textbook ‘Enterprise and Small Business’.
He has worked as a consultant for the OECD, EU and other economic development bodies and was the co-author of the Entrepreneurship Action Plan for Wales (with Dr Caryl Cresswell). He has initiated over £40 million of development projects and has attracted research grants from the ESRC, European Commission, Leverhulme Trust and Nuffield Foundation. He led the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) project in Wales for eight years. He is currently a member of the REAP panel which is working with MIT to develop an entrepreneurship strategy for Wales on behalf of the Welsh Government.
He was the first chairman of Outlook Expeditions Ltd, a fast-growing business and a member of the boards of Finance Wales, the Institute of Small Business and Enterprise, the Institute of Welsh Affairs, the Institute of Directors in Wales and served as Vice President (UK) for the European Council of Small Business. He is a trustee of Prime Cymru, one of the Prince of Wales' charities and a non-executive director of ICE, the largest start-up incubator of its kind in Wales.
Development Bank for Wales
During 2014-15, he was chair of the Development Bank for Wales Task and Finish Group for the Welsh Government following his two access to finance reports for Mrs Edwina Hart. These reports were not without controversy as they criticised the Welsh Government's own investment fund Finance Wales as being unfit for purpose, mainly because of the high interest rates charged to businesses and the unwillingness to consider using state aid rules to make finance affordable to Welsh firms. He recommended the creation of a new Development Bank to support funding for Welsh SMEs. In May 2015, the National Assembly for Wales voted to call "on the Welsh Government to establish a Welsh Development Bank, as recognised in the report published by Professor Dylan Jones-Evans".
Jones-Evans was responsible for starting a campaign in 2011 to raise funding to secure a star for Richard Burton on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. This was finally unveiled in Los Angeles on St David's Day, March 1, 2013.
He stood as a candidate for the National Assembly for Wales for the Welsh Conservative Party in the Aberconwy constituency in 2007. He came second to Gareth Jones of Plaid Cymru and increased the vote to 6.290 (or 30.4 per cent of the vote). Following this he served as Chairman of the Welsh Conservatives' Economic Commission for the 2011 Assembly elections. He served as a member of the Business Advisory Panel for the Secretary of State for Wales between 2010 and 2014 and led a major review of business finance for the Welsh Government.