The county’s brightest up and coming businesses have been named following their applications to the Innovation 50 programme.
The list of 50 small and medium sized businesses reads as a veritable who’s who of the county’s innovative businesses. It includes companies as diverse as a lampshade manufacturer, video games developers, high-tech manufacturers and even a company which delivers afternoon tea to your home.
Innovation 50 is a joint initiative between Essex County Council’s Essex Innovation Programme (EIP) and Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) to support business growth in Essex.
The companies will be offered support and advice from the Essex Innovation Programme to help them continue to grow and academic expertise provided by ARU’s business school.
Cllr Kevin Bentley, Cabinet Member for Economic Growth and Partnerships, Essex County Council said: “This initiative has shown that Essex is true a hotbed for innovation and entrepreneurship with a huge range of businesses, all of them ripe for development and poised for growth.
“The sheer number of applications we received, and the range of businesses applying, shows that it is truer than ever that Essex means business. We are committed to supporting our businesses and help them grow and prosper.”
Dr. Rob Willis of the Lord Ashcroft International Business School (LAIBS), ARU, said: "The support and enthusiasm for the programme that has been shown by small and medium sized enterprises has been outstanding. We have collected a vast amount of data already and our survey work continues. From this important piece of research, I hope we can build on the successes and strengthen the support available for our business community to grow further."
Colchester Zoo, one of the country’s last remaining privately owned zoos, is amongst the 50 winners. Melissa Fitch, Colchester Zoo Marketing Manager, said: "Colchester Zoo continues to work hard to evolve year on year for the benefit of both our animals and visitors. We are extremely pleased that Colchester Zoo has been recognised as one of the top 50 innovative businesses in Essex."
Some of the county’s 50 fastest growing and most innovative companies in Essex will now be able to proudly display the Innovation 50 kitemark on their website, stationery and marketing materials.