The Colchester agency secured the funding by winning a public vote run by the NatWest Skills and Opportunities Fund, which has dedicated over £7million 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 hugely successful 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 was such a success that last month Colbea scooped the ‘Enterprise Engagement’ prize at the 2018 National Enterprise Network awards for its work on the project.
Susannah Trangmar-Ward started one of those 83 businesses. Susannah 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, Susannah says, “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, says, “Winning the Skills & Opportunities Fund for the Midlands and East region is 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. We can’t wait to get started.”
The first IM4S programme of 2019 will begin in the spring. To register your interest, please contact Jane Green on 01206 548833 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.