Member News

Colbea Wins £32k NatWest Funding for Award-Winning Support Project!

Colbea Wins £32k NatWest Funding for Award-Winning Support Project!

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


Article by Colbea Enterprise Agency

The Colchester Business Enterprise Agency (Colbea) is a not for profit organisation dedicated to supporting business to start, grow and thrive. Colbea delivers over 1,000 training and advice sessions every year, so it’s fair to say that we know what we’re talking about.

Our sole aim is to help improve the economic prosperity of the region and we offer:
* Serviced office suites at two Colchester sites; one with easy access to the A12 and one in the centre of Colchester town
* Flexible space and ‘easy-in easy-out’ rentals within a modern business incubation environment
* Virtual offices with a professional business address and post services
* Business advice for start-ups and existing businessese from accredited professionals
* Business and vocational training in partnership with skilled business trainers and organisations
* Training and meeting room hire
Our business advice services are either free of charge or heavily subsidised. This is made possible through the generous support of local councils and by sponsorship from other businesses. Colbea is a member of the National Enterprise Network (NEN), which advises the Government on business enterprise and entrepreneurship.