£32k Grant Funding to Put Businesswomen “In The Market for Success”


Essex’s aspiring businesswomen are being encouraged to head to the Colchester Business Centre with their best business idea to take one of one hundred places on the re-launch of an award-winning business support programme.

Thanks to a £32,740 grant from the Natwest Skills & Opportunities Fund, Colbea is offering 100 places on In the Market for Success 2 to budding female entrepreneurs for just £50. The complete start-up package, worth over £2,000, includes training workshops, business mentoring, a free virtual office service for 12 months and a test trading spot on Colchester’s High Street Market.

First launched in 2017, IM4S assisted in the creation of 83 new businesses over 18 months, won the National Enterprise Network Enterprise Engagement Award in November 2018, and culminated in Samantha Luxford, pictured, winning a two-month trading opportunity in Fenwick’s 90,000 square ft Colchester High Street store. Speaking about the effect of the programme on her business, Samantha says; “I am very grateful to Colbea for providing the IM4S course.”

Jackie Clifford, Director of Clarity Learning & Development, is the course leader of the re-launched IM4S 2 programme, as well as being one of the external trainers delivering the courses’ expert training workshops. Jackie says, “I’m thrilled to be part of the team delivering ‘In the Market for Success’. This is a unique opportunity for women who are thinking of starting a business or who are in the very early days of their business to come together, learn heaps and form an ongoing network of support.

  • “From my days as a Regional Director for a women’s business networking organisation I know how valuable it is to have a trusted group who will listen to your ideas, challenge your thinking and encourage you to take those steps outside your comfort zone into an exciting future. My background is in supporting individuals and teams to learn and develop; I’ve started and sustained my own business and supported organisations in private, public and not-for-profit sectors as they navigate our ever-changing landscape. I’m excited to bring my experiences to this programme, but more importantly to help all the participants identify the knowledge, resources and talents that they have to bring to their own venture.
  • “I’m looking forward to seeing confidence blossom, determination grow and businesses succeed; the ripples that come from one woman starting her business are enormous and will have an impact on family, friends, community and the wider world – who wouldn’t be overjoyed to have the chance to be part of that!?”

The first ‘In the Market for Success 2’ course begins on 8th March 2019. Booking essential. Apply now at www.colbea.co.uk/im4s or call 01206 548 833