Funding provides leg-up for entrepreneurs in Colchester

Susannah Trangmar-Ward, Mandy Holgate. Picture: Richard Barker

Susannah Trangmar-Ward, Mandy Holgate. Picture: Richard Barker - Credit: Archant

Colchester Business Enterprise Agency (Colbea) has won £32,740 of NatWest funding to re-launch ‘In the Market for Success’ and offer places to a further 100 businesswomen on the award-winning programme.

The Colchester agency secured the funding by winning a public vote run by the NatWest Skills and Opportunities Fund, which has dedicated over £7m to over 300 inspiring community projects since 2014.

Thanks to the funding, Colbea will be able to re-launch ‘In the Market for Success’ (IM4S), a business support programme which provided a platform for over 100 aspiring entrepreneurs and assisted in the creation of 83 new business from 2017 to 2018.

The first run of IM4S helped Colbea scoop the ‘Enterprise Engagement’ prize last month at the 2018 National Enterprise Network awards for its work on the project.

Susannah Trangmar-Ward, from Colchester, started one of those 83 businesses. She set up plumbing, plastering and tiling business Mermaid Home Solutions in June 2017 before attending the IM4S programme in September 2017, and has now, in December 2018, taken the plunge to go totally self-employed and run her business full-time. Speaking about the course, Ms Trangmar-Ward said: “IM4S was such a useful, empowering and encouraging course to go on. It didn’t matter if you had any business knowledge or not, everyone was helped and supported. IM4S has enabled me to meet a wide range of other local businesswomen, with whom I am proud to have worked alongside developing our businesses.”

Ashleigh Seymour-Rutherford, Colbea chief executive said that winning the Skills & Opportunities Fund for the Midlands and East region was “a game-changer”.

“We can now run In the Market for Success 2, which will provide extensive support for 100 aspiring female entrepreneurs who want to explore self-employment,” she said. “We can’t wait to get started.”

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The first IM4S programme of 2019 will begin in the spring. To register your interest, please contact Jane Green on 01206 548833.