Awards celebrate East of England’s ‘Business Champions’

From left, Amanda Ankin, Lina Hogg and Ginny Idehen of Suffolk Chamber’s Suffolk Business Women networking group.

From left, Amanda Ankin, Lina Hogg and Ginny Idehen of Suffolk Chamber’s Suffolk Business Women networking group. - Credit: Archant

Essex entrepreneur David Bell has been named Business Person of the Year in the East of England Business Champions Awards.

Mr Bell is managing director of Halstead-based business consultancy and management company Simboc, which works with a wide variety of businesses to help them develop and grow their ideas.

He began his entrepreneurial career in 1996 at the age of 17 when he co-founded the APC Solutions Group, which is now a multi-million pound wireless communications solutions provider with offices in the UK, South Africa, North America and the Middle East.

The awards included a Business Champion accolade for each of the seven counties covered by the awards – Suffolk, Essex, Norfolk, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire – plus a number of region-wide awards, including Business Person of the Year.

Simboc, which Mr Bell set up after moving on from APC in 2013, was also runner-up for the Essex Business Champion title, which was won by The Survey Initiative, based at Frinton-on-Sea, which specialises in employee engagement research.

The Business Champion title for Suffolk went to Ipswich-based Poppy Nursing and Care Services, an agency supplying staff to the NHS.

Suffolk Business Women, Suffolk Chamber of Commerce’s dedicated networking group for business women, was runner-up in the Networking Group of the Year category.

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The overall Business Champion title for the region went to premium gin producer Ginmeister, from Royston, in Hertfordshire, which also won the Best New Business category.