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MENTA predicts growth of small businesses in East Anglia

Wed Jun 01 2022

Following its May AGM, MENTA Business Support, the Suffolk and Norfolk based not-for-profit business support organisation, announced further growth plans for 2022/23 as it looks to support entrepreneurs in the region. MENTA provided business advice and support to more than 270 local businesses, 85 serviced business space tenants, 150 freelancers and micro businesses and 1,400 individuals focused on self-employment last year. 

MENTA can offer tailored packages of support for a wide variety of entrepreneurs, ranging from start-up to growing businesses, catering for a diverse mix of individuals from local businesses to refugee entrepreneurs to individuals furthest from the labour market. MENTA helps individuals and businesses create a ‘Pride of Place’ in the local community areas. MENTA expects this demand to grow in 2022 by over 20%.

One of the most exciting new prospects is providing workspaces for growing businesses in the region. In 2021 more than 50 business took advantage of five MENTA business and co-working hubs and in 2022 this is set to grow with recently opened new co-working spaces in Felixstowe and Brandon as MENTA looks to support changing working patterns and entrepreneurs wanting to grow their base in East Anglia. 

Small and medium sized businesses are crucial to the East Anglian economy.  There are over 598,0001 SMEs in the East of England, the third largest region outside of London and the South East. Despite the global economic uncertainty and supply chain issues, businesses in the East of England have shown resilience within the last two years. There have been many examples of businesses in our region pivoting, diversifying, and surviving. 

To support the growing demand for MENTA’s services and the support it provides to growth business MENTA has expanded its team and welcomed two new non-executive board members, Chris Kelly, and Louise Ahuja. 

MENTA’s non-executive chair, Alistair Ponder said, “ahead of our AGM, I want to personally thank departing board members Jane Cattermole, Phil Morris, Callum Coombes for their time and valuable business insight at a time where the entire MENTA team proved its ability to react and adapt to the challenges of lockdowns, this is a very exciting time for MENTA with new locations in Felixstowe and Brandon, expanded projects delivering vital support to the growing and diverse sectors MENTA serve, welcoming both Chris and Louise to the board enables us all to further support the team in its growth plans”

Chris Kelly is a director at Jacobs Allen chartered accountants. “I am passionate about demystifying corporate finance advice and making it accessible to businesses irrespective of size. I am looking forward to supporting MENTA as it continues to shape enterprise in the region.”  Also joining is entrepreneurial businesses leader Louise Ahuja who has over 20 years board level experience. She is one of the founders of Opinium research, one of the fastest growing international market research agencies. “I have benefitted first hand from MENTA’s excellent support including networking events and the creative workspace @inc in Bury St Edmunds.” Both individuals will help to oversee and challenge MENTA’s implementation strategy.

MENTA CEO, Alex Till added, “Being able to attract and welcome such business talent onto our board will benefit small business owners across the region. We will be able to pull from their vast experience within the business sector and help us to offer the very best service to those wanting our help and guidance”. 

MENTA works with new emerging and existing micro businesses and those looking to move into self-employment across Norfolk and Suffolk by offering help, support, advice, and training. More than 50,000 entrepreneurs have received MENTA support and helped launch, run, and grow thriving and profitable businesses across East Anglia. There are hundreds of online and in person sessions available to help with the business planning and processes of starting and running a business you may not be experienced in.

For more information on the new business spaces visit, @Inc

And for their range of business support, please visit these pages. 

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