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Essex is unquestionably the home of the start-up, but often a new business needs to find the answers on the best way to grow.

 

Even during the difficulties of the Covid pandemic, the number of businesses in Essex reached a record high during 2021, increasing by more than 3% from 137,310 at the end of 2020 to 141,948 at the end of 2021.

 

Across the business community, small businesses (classified as 0-49 employees) make up 99% of firms. However, for smaller firms such as this, upskilling employees can be one of the most critical aspects of establishing the foundations for success and then encouraging continued growth.

 

With exactly this issue in mind, Colbea, a not-for-profit business support and enterprise agency, is supporting businesses across Essex with a vital injection of expertise. Thanks to Colbea, companies within the county have access to a full programme of free training courses, delivered by experienced business leaders and experts in their field, plugging in vital learning to drive business success.

 

The specialist support programmes target areas including digital marketing, cyber security and best practice for import and export businesses, as well as courses which are specifically focused on helping people just starting out in business.

 

Running through 2022 until November, each course is designed to offer the maximum benefit for attendees. Participants can drop in for one session or complete all six sessions of a module, including a refresher session, either within one week or over six months, whichever suits their needs.

 

Fully-funded by the North Essex Economic Board – a partnership of district, borough, and city councils within the area – the courses are run by Colbea in partnership with expert trainers leading the courses.

 

Anyone involved in an existing business or who is looking to set up a business in the Chelmsford, Maldon, Colchester, Braintree, Uttlesford or Tendring areas is welcome to join the courses.

 

To complement the training courses, one-to-one advice sessions for those looking to start a business are also available with Colbea’s expert advisors, as well as more specialised advice for the import/export sector.

 

This is just one of the activities provided by Colbea, which aims to be an incubation centre for small to medium sized businesses, providing office space, virtual tenancies, meeting/training room hire, business advice and training opportunities.

 

Training on offer includes:

 

  • First Steps to Start-up Success – an online comprehensive training course for those starting up or developing a new business.
  • Introduction to Finance – an online course helping you to understand the fundamentals of finance and tax within your business.
  • Digital skills – six online sessions covering social media, project management, online sales, and your website.
  • Cyber security – an online session helping to protect you and your business from cyber threats and online fraud.
  • Import/export training – six training courses available for those companies who are looking to start importing/exporting, or who are already in the industry and would like to enhance their skills.

 

Further information on all the courses is available on the Colbea website: https://colbea.co.uk/learn/