Agency secures start-up support contract

AN enterprise agency based in north Suffolk has won a contract to deliver support to entrepreneurs from disadvantaged backgrounds or communities across the county.

AN enterprise agency based in north Suffolk has won a contract to deliver support to entrepreneurs from disadvantaged backgrounds or communities across the county.

NWES, which manages eight incubators including the recently-acquired IP-City Centre in Ipswich, will administer the Investing in Communities funding for Enterprise for All, but other organisations such as enterprise agencies Ipsenta and Menta, also based in Suffolk, will continue to deliver the scheme on the ground in their areas.

Suffolk Development Agency invited tenders to run the £195,000 scheme, which is funded by the East of England Development Agency and is now in its second year. It was run last year by Suffolk Business Link, which has now been replaced by a region-wide body.

Mick Potter, head of services at NWES, said they would be operating the scheme to ensure comprehensive local delivery right across the county, but organisations such as Ipsenta and Menta would be involved.


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“They'll be delivering on a local basis on our behalf,” he said.

Mike Dowdall, manager of Investing in Communities at Suffolk Development Agency, confirmed the new set-up should not mean duplication among different enterprise organisations.

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However, he pointed out that “whoever wins it have to administer it in the way they see fit”.

“NWES won it. They are going to administer it throughout the county. However, I'm very aware there's a delivery structure there within the county and I would very much like them to work with the likes of Ipsenta and Menta,” he said.

“I very much hope it's a partnership approach.”

Kathy Goode, chief executive at Ipsenta, said: “We are delighted that this highly targeted and focused funding stream is continuing for the foreseeable future after an extremely successful pilot scheme last year which saw Ipsenta deliver additional intensive pre-start advice and training above and beyond our 'core' services to over 650 individuals from disadvantaged or hard to reach backgrounds.

“Ipsenta, along with a range of other experienced business support partners such as Menta in Bury St Edmunds, will continue to work alongside NWES to maximise the impact of the Enterprise for All funding, delivering a range of support, not only form our existing Business Centres in Ipswich, Sudbury, Hadleigh and Leiston, but also linked in to the introduction of additional delivery capacity at our new business start-up facilities in Ipswich, Felixstowe and Newmarket, due to be open for business within the next two months.”

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