The Colchester Business Enterprise Agency (Colbea) is marking its 40th anniversary with a competition for an Essex-based entrepreneur to win office space and business support worth more than £8000.
Colbea was founded in 1982 with support from Colchester Borough Council, the Chamber of Commerce, and local businesses. It initially opened in Colchester High Street and has grown to have two purpose-built business incubation centres in Colchester, and delivers training, mentoring and business advice across Essex. In the last 40 years, the enterprise agency has provided more than 40,000 independent support sessions to an estimated 20,000 businesses, earning national recognition for its work.
John Russell became a Colbea director in 1987, was Chairman for 11 years and President until 2022.
In recognition of his many years of dedication to the agency, Colbea has launched the John Russell Award in his name, where one young business will win office space in Colbea’s Colchester City business centre for a year. Runner-up prizes will include a 12-month Colchester virtual office package and a free meeting room hire.
Commenting on the award, John said: “Throughout my banking career I always admired and wanted to support anyone who was brave enough to set up in business, hence my involvement with Colbea over more years than I care to remember!
“I am humbled and honoured that an award is being launched in my name and look forward to viewing the entries and meeting the winners”.
Simon Mead, Colbea CEO said: “What better way to mark forty years of business support delivery than to create this fantastic opportunity for a young business. Any Essex-based business under three years old can enter free from our website and we’ll be looking for someone entrepreneurial who can really use the space and inclusive support and mentoring to take their business to the next level.
“We’re excited to hear from entrants and expect our prize winner to move into their new office space by the autumn.”
The competition is open now. Visit the Colbea website to apply online.