COLCHESTER Business Enterprise Agency (Colbea) has been named Enterprise Support Organisation of the Year at the 2019 National Enterprise Network Awards. Host Nick Pandolfi named the winners at the ceremony, held at one Churchill Place, Canary Wharf courtesy of headline sponsors Barclays.
Enterprise Support Organisation of the Year (Turnover Under £750k) was awarded to Colbea for their strategic and astute practices including match-funding, sponsorship, partnerships and engagement with local businesses, the judges praised Colbea’s strong commitment and determination to support impactful initiatives. The end result is an agency that provides outstanding enterprise support, which is driving forward economic prosperity within Colbea’s community.
Ashleigh Seymour-Rutherford, Colbea’s Chief Executive, said: “2019 has been a year in which Colbea has really started to deliver on our five-year strategy of developing a self-sustainable commercial model, providing a strong foundation for the long-term delivery of our core-funded programme. By match-funding any income with sponsorship from local businesses, Colbea has been able to invest in our fully-funded business advice service, and low-cost training courses.
“Engagement and partnerships with local businesses is another important approach for us as part of the strategy, and one which has enabled us to deliver training courses to the ever-wider sections of the entrepreneurial community and provide drop-in surgeries for local entrepreneurs.
“This award is a fantastic acknowledgement of Colbea and all of our hard work in developing and implementing our innovative new strategy, and also of Colchester and the wider Essex area delivering on its outstanding business potential.”
The Enterprise Support Organisation of the Year Award, sponsored by the University of Essex, seeks to recognise organisations and their members who are working hard to establish or maintain recognition and impact within their local communities.
The award ceremony saw nine organisations, including a range of new and existing members from across England, rewarded for their excellence in the delivery of enterprise services. Award sponsors Gallagher UK and the University of Essex presented award winners with an engraved trophy, with highly commended organisations given framed certificates to recognise their contribution.
NEN Chairman Alex Till commented: “We were delighted to receive such high quality applications from both within, and outside the network. It was heartening to see just how many organisations there are across England, sharing our passion for inspiring and encouraging enterprise. And it was our pleasure to celebrate their achievements at the 2019 National Enterprise Network Awards ceremony.”
Choosing overall winners from the shortlist was a difficult task for judges Liz Smith, Market Director – Harrow and Edgware, Barclays UK, Aileen Evans, NEN Director and NEN Chairman Alex Till. In total, winners were announced in five categories, while a further three organisations were awarded a Highly Commended certificate.
PHOTO CAPTION: The Colbea delegation celebrates their award, left to right Mandeep Singh Gabhari, Ashleigh Seymour-Rutherford, James Cracknell, Keith Powell, Katie Skingle and Craig Baston.