Wenta, the local enterprise agency for Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire, were last week awarded the National Award for ‘Future of Enterprise Support’ at the National Enterprise Network’s (NEN) annual awards ceremony.
The Awards were announced during a gala dinner sponsored by Barclays at the Mercure Piccadilly hotel in Manchester and presented by award winning journalist and broadcaster Harry Gration. Wenta fought of strong completion from other business support organisations across the country.
The accolade was awarded for Wenta’s innovative approach to the delivery of enterprise support. Commenting on the Award the NEN judging panel said, “Members were encouraged to demonstrate examples of innovative approaches to the delivery of enterprise support, making their organisations successful and sustainable. Despite difficulties they face in the current climate, Wenta did just that and more! Wenta are commercially focused, - they keep up with their business needs, whilst always delivering benefits to the customer. Today, Wenta has created a working environment for around 200 businesses across 4 business centres and a virtual office catering for 150 more people. This company aspires to open 5 new centres within the next three years and help more people with their self-employment aspirations.”
This is the fourth award Wenta has received from the NEN in the past 6 years with national accolades for Education links, Marketing and most recently in 2010 for Innovation. The national award for Innovation was received for the creation of My Incubator, their first incubation centre at the Business and Technology Centre in Stevenage. Since then they have gone on to open a further 5 incubation centres creating the My Incubator network.
Unlike the standard incubator model of small office accommodation for start-up businesses My Incubator has been designed to provide new start-up and pre-start businesses with a location to base their business/idea where they receive intensive support from a highly skilled business advisor. The service complements Wenta’s existing offerings of business advice, training and education programmes and business centre facilities. It provides an ideal environment for aspiring entrepreneurs along with new and developing companies.
The My Incubator network has provided the catalyst for Wenta to secure further funding until 2015 to offer advice and support to start-ups across Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire. The NEN recognised the positive impact that this innovation has had on Wenta’s activities.
Commenting on their win, Peter Cabon, Wenta's Director of Advisory Services said, "This award is a fantastic achievement for Wenta. There was a lot of uncertainty last year in the business support network with the demise of Business Link and cuts in funding. We have worked hard to create a business model that is sustainable for the longer term and enables us to continue to provide valuable services to the communities we serve. Next year we are celebrating our 30th Anniversary and are delighted that we've made steps to ensure we are here for many years to come."