Two Essex cities have been named the best outside of London to launch a business in the UK. Chelmsford has been ranked as the fourth best city, while Colchester comes in at fifth, a recent analysis by Tide, a financial technology company, reveals. Around 47% of Chelmsford businesses, in particular, successfully survive the notoriously difficult first year after launching. And, that’s not all: Essex is also a great location for female entrepreneurs thanks to recent investments by Essex City Council, while the county has also been enjoying a thriving ecommerce sector.
Supporting Essex business women
Essex County Council is working to support local women in business by launching two free entrepreneurial programs with more to follow. The first program has been established in partnership with We Are Radikl, an organisation providing women-focused business support. Women eager to start their own business, but don’t know where to begin can attend their six-week “How to start your start up” course. The programme also provides regular one-on-one hotseat, monthly bootcamps, and an annual “Engage” community membership.
Finding investors for female entrepreneurs
Angels@Essex is Essex City Council’s other new programme formed in partnership with Essex University. It’s a platform designed to connect businesswomen with investors and is available by invitation only. The platform’s Female Founders and Investors Forum is dedicated to helping women-owned tech businesses find the right investors and provides tailored support to help both entrepreneurs and investors overcome challenges and achieve their goals. “ECC is proud to partner with We Are Radikl and Angels@Essex to help support female-led entrepreneurship”, said Councillor Lesley Wagland, Cabinet Member for Economic Renewal, Infrastructure and Planning at Essex County Council. “With equality one of the key themes of the new administration, I am determined to promote opportunities for the businesswomen of the future.”
Thriving ecommerce sector
Ecommerce is also booming in Essex — a trend largely triggered by pandemic lockdowns and an uptick in online retail. Within the ecommerce marketplace, warehouse conveyor solutions like automated sortation systems are key in preventing operational hiccups and maximising efficiency and output. Moreover, to keep up with the growing demand across the county, one of the country’s leading logistics specialists, Whistl recently established a brand new collection centre in Basildon therefore expanding its localised collection service to Essex and south east London. Small- and medium-sized enterprises, brands, and wholesalers can now benefit from more than 600 delivery service options for customers in combination with 20 local and international parcel carrier partners. A host of local postcode areas (including SS, SE, RM, E, IG, BR, along with select parts of the DA and CM areas) will now be able to take advantage of this new daily parcel collection service.
“We are delighted to expand our service into Essex and south east London”, said Steve Marjoram, Parcelhub managing director. “Smaller businesses will now be able to access the benefits and flexibility of service that has traditionally only been available to large businesses.”