A music business graduate from the University of South Wales has won this year’s NatWest #Powerup Graduate Prize, thanks to her unique new music and culture magazine, called Crwth – named after the Welsh medieval instrument.
Alexandra Jones, who graduated in July 2021, was nominated for the award by her professors at USW after presenting an impressive business plan for the magazine, as part of her senior year project. NatWest helps final-year Music Business students build on entrepreneurship studies, simulate a real-world initiative, and launch music startups.
Each year, students research, plan, develop, brand, market, and manage a substantial project that has the potential to scale and succeed upon graduation. Alexandra, 22, from Pontllanfraith and now living in Cardiff, came up with the idea for the magazine as she wanted to pay homage to Welsh history and provide a fresh and modern take on media in Wales.
As part of the Prize, she will benefit from three coaching sessions with NatWest Entrepreneur Acceleration Manager Blessing Mutamba, designed to support her with business skills.
“Crwth is centered on the Welsh music industry and understands Welsh culture, art and modern poetry. Currently it is available digitally, but I hope to make it a physical magazine in the future.
“I am very honored to have won the NatWest #Powerup Graduate Prize and look forward to the mentorship and career advice that comes with it! I recently started working with Beacons Cymru, a bilingual suite of online resources for the future of the Welsh music industry. It is aimed at young people and is delivered by a wide range of inspiring role models from across the music industry, providing knowledge, mentorship, networks and opportunities.
“I am also learning to speak Welsh and would love to use my language skills to help bridge the gaps in the musical landscape of Wales, particularly between north and south.”
Gemma Casey, NatWest Ecosystem Manager for Wales, said:
“The NatWest #Powerup Graduate Prize gives students of the BA Music Business course the opportunity to learn and develop entrepreneurial skills. This introduction to the world of entrepreneurship and the skills pitching is valuable for students, whether they are starting their own business or entering employment. These are transferable skills that can really give students the edge, regardless of their future path.
“Alexandra’s business plan for a magazine celebrating Welsh culture really captured the imagination of her tutors. It’s fantastic to hear that she has already been able to use the skills and knowledge she has developed through this project in her new job, and we look forward to supporting her further through coaching sessions.
Lucy Squire, Head of Music at USW, added:
“We at the University are delighted to extend this year’s award to Alexandra. His project identified a gap in the market for a new Welsh music and culture magazine; an idea that caught the industry’s attention and helped her find a job at Beacons Cymru.
“Receiving the award represents a huge opportunity for Alexandra to advance her professional journey, which reinforces the quality of her work and helps her stand out in a competitive market.”