‘Priceless Prize’ of Trading in Fenwick for Colchester Businesses

– Colchester Businesswomen to win chance to sell alongside prestigious brands including Moschino, Paul Smith and Hugo Boss –

Five lucky local business owners will win an opportunity to operate their emerging businesses from the shop floor of the region’s largest department store, it was announced on Monday evening at Colchester Town Hall.

The competition, launched by the Colchester Business Enterprise Agency (Colbea) and Fenwick, will offer winners the opportunity to sell alongside leading brands like Moschino, Paul Smith and Hugo Boss in Fenwick’s 90,000 square ft Colchester High Street Store.


The winners will be selected from successful graduates of ‘In the Market for Success’, a funded programme of start-up support for businesswomen provided by Colbea. A shortlist of entrants will be interview by the competition panel in September, with winners set to be announced at Colbea’s AGP on 18th October and trading to commence in Spring 2019, as revealed at The Moot Hall on Monday at the competition’s launch event, sponsored by Colchester Events Company, Jamie Lee Smith Catering and Natwest.

Fenwick Store Director Julie Hayward, speaking about the launch of a competition which will give ‘’ the opportunity to sell their business dream on the prestigious Fenwick shop floor, shared with the candidates some the knowledge she has gained from 25 years in retail, saying, “Have the idea and have the passion. When doing something you love it certainly makes hard work easier!”

Speaking about supporting the event Cllr Nick Barlow, Portfolio Holder for Commercial Services for Colchester Borough Council, says, “Colchester Event Company as part of Colchester Amphora Trading are delighted to be hosting such a prestigious event and hope that visitors to the Moot Hall in Colchester will enjoy their evening and return to the Town Hall soon whether it be for corporate, business or leisure reasons.”

Jamie Smith, founder of Jamie Lee Smith Catering, says, “Being a small business, especially when we started 19 years ago, we know that organisations like COLBEA are essential and vitally important to give fresh new businesses advice, support and the boost that any business needs.”

The shortlisted businesses will be announced on 30th August, while the winners are to be revealed on 18th October at Colbea’s AGP.

Colbea CEO, Ashleigh Seymour-Rutherford says, “Fenwick is not only the largest department store in the region, it is also very much one of the most prestigious, so it is hard to put a value on this opportunity. In truth, this prize is absolutely priceless for these budding young businesses.”

Ashleigh continues, “We are extremely thankful to Colchester Events Company, Jamie Lee Smith Catering and Natwest for their sponsorship of this event and their help in making the launch of the competition such a wonderful occasion.”

About our Sponsors

Jamie Lee Smith Catering

Jamie Lee Smith Catering joined Colchester Events Company nine months ago and, in that time, we feel we have become an integral part of helping the CEC raise its venues to a new level of excellence. We have a professional team and we are all is very passionate about what we do. Flexibility, quality new ideas are three big words in our vocabulary.

From a catering point of view, we cover it all, from a canape evening like tonight, to a scrumptious four-course gala dinner for up to a thousand. Our food is always cooked fresh on site, regardless of what facilities are thrown in front of us. We have always loved the challenge of working at different venues and producing high-quality food.”



Natwest has supported In the Market for Success since the first began in January 2017 – providing £16,500 funding through the Skills & Opportunities Fund – and continued to support the project by sponsoring the launch of a competition that will provide a once in a lifetime prize for some of the new entrepreneurs the initial funding has helped to create over the past 18 months.


Colchester Events Company 

The Colchester Events Company boasts an unrivalled array of venues in the town; 


Today, our outstanding function rooms all beautifully decorated with ornate and original features such as stained glass windows, oil paintings and murals are still used for their original purpose. However, the grandeur of the rooms prove popular for special celebrations, such as birthdays, christenings and even wakes.


Standing in Britain’s oldest recorded town, Colchester Castle is the largest surviving Norman Keep in Europe, ordered by William the Conqueror in around 1076 when Colchester became the first Roman capital of Britain.


Colchester’s distinctive heritage is nowhere more apparent than in Castle Park. A site of national importance, this Victorian Park contains evidence of 2000 years of history and is a landscape moulded by the people of Colchester over many eras. High Woods Country Park is one of Colchester’s beauty spots. The Country Park includes woodland, open spaces (ideal for picnics) a lake and wildflower meadows. The Recreation Ground has a recently updated cafe, ideally situated in the old tennis pavilion, and also installed new gates that celebrate the heritage of the area.


One of Colchester’s best live venues for hosting regular comedy, cabaret, dance and music nights you can also hire it for your big day. The two main spaces, Charter Hall and the Sports Hall, can be combined for large events or segregated for smaller, more intimate ones. It is very easy to decorate and can be transformed to make your dreams become a reality, whether you are looking for something subtle and simple or a larger and lavish affair.