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Swansea Language Company Translates Mentoring into Growth

An award-winning language services company in Swansea has expanded and is planning to open new offices with the help of mentoring support from the PRIME Cymru mentoring agency and Lloyds TSB Commercial.

Veritas Language Solutions provides translation, interpreting and consultancy services to a wide range of companies, charities, universities and government departments in the UK and internationally, including Nokia and the Red Cross.

The company was started in 2009 by Sharon Stephens and another graduate from her home, after they completed their university degrees. It has since grown quickly and now has access to a network of around 5,500 linguists worldwide, in addition to the ten members of staff who work in its headquarters on the Swansea Waterfront. The business is currently looking to open new bases in London, Paris and Brussels to bolster support to its customers and expand into new markets.

In early 2012, the company was also a finalist in the Lloyds TSB Enterprise Awards, recognising its outstanding 500 per cent increase in turnover growth in its first three years, and a component of the prize was access to a dedicated business mentor.

For Veritas, the mentoring scheme involved regular meetings between the management team and the mentor, Martin Lewis from Lloyds TSB Commercial, to provide guidance on specific areas of business management and finance as required.

Throughout this mentoring support period, the business has continued to increase turnover and introduce new services. Its newest addition, Veritas Talk, allows users to translate short conversations in real-time between 157 languages, is available 24/7, 365 days a year, and is already proving popular with business and medical customers.

Sharon Stephens, managing director of Veritas Language Solutions, said: “Given that our clients rightly require precision and accuracy, all of our translators must have a minimum of five years’ experience in professional translation, and our stringent vetting procedures are one of the reasons for our continued success. As a trained and experienced linguist myself, I know the importance of maintaining high standards in recruiting translators.

“The help from our business mentor has blown us away in terms of opening our eyes to the scope for our services, both traditional translation and interpreting services. We are also working with companies to provide cultural training to assist them in their aim of successfully expanding into new overseas markets.

“Having benefitted immensely from the support of a mentor myself, I am now involved with local education projects and business events to share our experiences with others and to help encourage the next generation of entrepreneurs and businesses.”

Martin Lewis from Lloyds TSB Commercial, said: “Veritas Language Solutions is a superb business that has expanded rapidly by providing a high-quality service with limitless possibilities. 

“Sharon Stephens’ passion for her work has been a key driver of the company’s exponential growth in a short period of time. Having worked closely with her and offering a fresh pair of eyes, I was able to help them examine new options for managing the business’ performance and explore new options for growth, whilst ensuring due consideration is given to cashflow and profitability.

“Having worked with Lloyds TSB Commercial for many years, I’d acquired a broad range of skills and contacts which the mentoring programme has enabled me to share with others. It’s immensely rewarding to be able to help others achieve their goals.”