Business spotlight – Joe Swiffen from Mynydd Sleddog Adventures

How would you describe your business?
Mynydd Sleddog Adventures is Wales’ first and only outdoor activity provider specialising in Husky rides and sled dog experiences, for individuals, families and groups. The ultimate in dog-powered adrenaline, visitors will immerse themselves in the exhilarating world of Dog Mushing and Sled Dog Sports, meet and interact with working Sled Dogs and learn about their unique history. With 20 years of experience, training and racing sledge dogs in the UK and abroad, we pride ourselves on offering paw- some adventures and sharing this amazing outdoor activity with all, whilst maintaining the highest standards of dog welfare!

Why did you set it up and chose the location?
To give people an exciting experience that isn’t otherwise available in Wales. I wanted to inspire young people by offering opportunities to gain experience in the outdoors and be involved in sleddog sports, because my dogs and the sleddog community has given me so much over the years. I wanted to share it with others, as well as giving my dogs their best life. Our location is Bwlch Hafod Einion Forest, which was allocated to us by NRW. It is a quiet area of forest, not often used by walkers so they allowed us to use it for our business. Challenges faced (and overcome) Biggest challenge has been finances! Everything goes into the dogs! We weren’t eligible for financial support through the pandemic, we ended up on Universal Credit! Trying to feed 20 dogs on UC is horrendous! I had to take out loans to get through. Now they have to be paid back!! I was able to take bookings through the pandemic, but we had to close, which meant we then honoured the bookings later, meaning that we couldn’t take new bookings. Now the increased cost of fuel and dog food has had an impact too. There is little or no support financially for tiny one person businesses except loans. Investors aren’t interested in businesses that only have one person. How have we overcome these difficulties? Offering volunteering opportunities, we’ve had some fantastic international volunteers (who we get paid for). We have also been working with a couple of local authorities on funding applications for partnership working on Alternative Youth Education provision. Oh and I do not take a wage from the business yet!! Not even a director’s salary! Nothing. It all goes to the dogs.

We have also been working with a couple of local authorities on funding applications for partnership working on Alternative Youth Education provision. Oh and I do not take a wage from the business yet!! Not even a director’s salary! Nothing. It all goes to the dogs. The ultimate in do g powered adrenaline, visitors will immerse themselves in the exhilarating world of Dog Mushing and Sled Dog Sports, meet and interact with working Sled Dogs and learn about their unique history. With 20 years experience, training and racing sled dogs inthe UK and abroad, we pride ourselves on offering paw some adventures and sharing this amazing outdoor activity with all, whilst maintaining the highest standards of dog welfare!