Funding support for business growth

‘From little acorns, mighty oaks do grow’ the saying goes – and this is particularly true when it comes to developing businesses.

Published in Essex Director Magazine Winter 2023|24

Business Support: North Essex Economic Board (NEEB)

Tesco founder Jack Cohen created the foundations for the supermarket chain in 1919 by selling surplus groceries from a stall in the East End of London.

In the 1970s, two boys – Steve Jobs and his friend Steve Wozniak – began building personal computers in their spare time in the garage at Jobs’ family home. Their collaborative enterprise would go on to become the global tech giant, Apple.

Similarly, the likes of Google and Amazon began life in garages, while LinkedIn got off the ground from the modest environment of a living room. Throughout the decades, the business landscape is littered with examples of hugely successful companies that started small.

But businesses can only grow if they are nurtured, given just enough time, investment and space. In turn, everyone – from budding entrepreneurs to experienced company directors – needs a helping hand at times as society and the economy changes.

Let’s Do Business Group

That is why the North Essex Economic Board (NEEB) is funding a number of business support programmes, to help nurture companies of all shapes and sizes in the area to grow. A partnership of eight local authorities in the county: Chelmsford and Colchester City Councils, Essex County Council, and Braintree, Maldon, Tendring, Uttlesford and Epping Forest District Councils, NEEB has contracted Let’s Do Business Group to provide free business support in the area.

Let’s Do Business Group offers general business support, alongside more bespoke and specialist advice around finance and digital skills. It supports the green shoots of entrepreneurs and start-ups looking to establish their first roots, as well as offering a guiding hand for firms looking to protect jobs or expand their operations.

Over the last year, the Let’s Do Business Group has provided tailored support to a plethora of businesses, on subjects such as accessing finance, marketing and promotion, improving productivity, business planning, staffing, digital skills and decarbonisation.

Help to build and develop

The continuation and expansion of this service means that businesses in North Essex will be able to benefit from a range of business support services that can help them build and develop. This includes services such as mentoring, skills training, tools and understanding needed to help companies succeed.

NEEB Chair and Councillor Marie Goldman says the board is looking to connect and amplify the great work being done by local businesses.

“NEEB was formed to support the economic growth of the area, making it a wonderful place to work, live, and do business,” she explains.

“There is a fantastically strong local economy across North Essex, with so many great businesses and success stories, but all enterprises need help from time to time. Whether that is to keep up with the latest trends, expand and grasp new opportunities, or support to survive shocks in the system, what we want to do is be there to provide that help.”

Get in touch

If you are looking to nurture your business, either visit our website, or contact us to see how we can help.

Or visit


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