East Anglia: Ixion Enterprise Awards celebrate New Enterprise Allowance succcess stories

Jonie Worton, founder of Bob & John Knitwear, East Anglia winner of the Best Retail Business and You

Jonie Worton, founder of Bob & John Knitwear, East Anglia winner of the Best Retail Business and Young Entrepreneur of the Year titles in the Ixion Enterprise Awards, with Cambridge MP Julian Huppert following the ceremony at Anglia Ruskin University's Cambridge campus. - Credit: Archant

A garden maintenance company run by a husband and wife team from Halesworth and the founder of a knitwear business in Lowestoft have been named among the winners in a competition for people who have made the most of a Government scheme to help people who are unemployed start their own business.

Mr & Mrs B Services was launched 15 months ago by Richard and Nina Bareham with the support of the New Enterprise Allowance, since when they have built up a client base of more than 100.

Their success has now received recognition in the form of the Best Trade Service Business title in the East Anglia round of the Ixion Enterprise Awards, run by Chelmsford-based Ixion Holidngs, a not-for-profit subsidiary of Anglia Ruskin University.

Also honoured at the event, held at Anglia Ruskin’s Cambridge campus, was Jonie Worton who won the Best Retail Business title and was also named Young Entrepreneur of the Year for her successful launch of Bob & John Knitwear, which offers range of fashion and interior products.

The Best Creative Services Business category and the overall Enterprise of the Year title were won by Norwich-based digital marketing agency Eastworks, launched by Ryan Nesbitt, which specialises in web design and development, social media campaigns, brand identity and online advertising.

Other winners included Norwich-based Direct Immigration Solutions (Best Professional Services Business)and Bootifull Coffee from Fakenham (Best Hospitality Business).

Cambridge MP Julian Huppert, who was among the guests at the ceremony, said: “We have some really outstanding businesses in Cambridge and across the region generally and these awards recognise their achievements and showcase their successes.

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“Those who have been shortlisted have proved their excellence, innovation and progress in what have been tough trading conditions and I wish them all every success for the future.”

In the Essex round of the awards, held at Anglia Ruskin’s Chelmsford campus, the Enterprise of the Year and Best Professional Services Business titles went to Hatfield Peverel-based Brainbuzzz, formed by Sue Cook who runs classes teaching techniques to overcome conditions including dyslexia.

Other winners included Frostings Cupcakes from Rayne, near Braintree (Best Retail Business), Great Dunmow’s Scrumptious Tea Rooms (Best Hospitality Business), SW Heating Service from Maylandsea (Best Trade Service Business), Epping-based House of Hoxshore (Best Creative Business) and Chloe Godden of Thurrock-based dance and music class provider Stepin (Young Entrepreneur of the Year).

John Govett, chief executive of Ixion Holdings, said: “The standard of entries across the different award categories was extremely high and impressed the judges, so congratulations to everyone that was shortlisted.”