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Essex Young Entrepreneurs Network awards its first grant

13 December 2017

Young entrepreneur celebrating her award with glass of Champagne

An Essex entrepreneur will see her dream become a reality thanks to a grant awarded by the Essex Young Entrepreneurs Network (EYEN).

The Essex Young Entrepreneurs Network awarded its first grant of £3,000 to Keri-Ann Stroud to set up her online gift store, Flower and Flame, which will go live early 2018. The store will specialise in long lasting flowers and candles.

Keri-Ann, from Colchester, left her job to set up her business and EYEN, which launched in the summer, recognised Keri-Ann’s passion to start her own business. She sourced Essex based suppliers and artisans to help her create her products and aims to grow her company and employ more staff when the time is right.

Keri-Ann said, “I am absolutely delighted to be awarded the EYEN grant. Without this funding, I would be a million miles away from bringing my business idea to market. This grant has genuinely given me the opportunity to change my life for the better. 

“The process was fast, informative and the EYEN team have an incredible amount of support and knowledge available for anyone under the age of thirty in Essex hoping to turn their big idea into a reality. They have heaps of energy and positivity and most importantly, the tenacity to keep the wheels in motion. 

“I cannot thank the team enough and I look forward to celebrating once my online store is launched this February.”

Cllr Kevin Bentley, Cabinet Member for Economic Growth, said: “Small businesses play a vital role in the Essex economy. Essex County Council recognised this and launched EYEN in the summer to help young people realise their dreams. 

“EYEN is committed to supporting, mentoring and offering funding up to £5,000 to people under the age of thirty. The Network recognised that Keri-Ann is an ambitious, driven business woman and is backing her business. 

“We wish Keri-Ann every success with her business and look forward to the opening of Flower and Flame.”

For more information on The Essex Young Entrepreneurs Network, visit