2021 saw the BEST Growth Hub launched the inaugural NOVO Awards. Focussed on recognising and rewarding innovation as well as the ability to pivot and adapt, the NOVO Awards saw entries from 100+ Essex-based businesses. Six entry streams were categorised as Economy, Creative, Society, Environment, Use of Business Support and Digitech.

An expert judging panel awarded marks, with 32 entries reaching the benchmark to win NOVO Awards. 26 of the 32 companies won classic NOVOs and six won gold NOVO Awards. Bespoke artisan-made trophies and certificates were presented at the gala presentation and dinner at Braxted Park on 21 October.

Four Colchester companies won awards. Many congratulations to:

  • CLIP empowers young people to take creative risks and make exciting new music with playful education services and
    innovative range of music technology products. CLIP provides music workshops supporting young people to explore new technologies and get curious with sound in supportive and encouraging environments, ensuring self-perceived ability is never a barrier to entry.
  • Arma Karma is an Insurtech that provides flexible insurance for students and renters. Its subscription based service allows people to cover up to five valuable items at home, while they’re outside the home and abroad as standard. In doing so, they can support a good cause, with 25% of commission revenue going to a charity of their choice from our selected panel of four. Arma Karma aims to raise £1million collectively for these organisations over the next three years.
  • Business Time in Essex is the only B2B magazine serving Essex. Launched in 2016 it is now the largest regional B2B magazine in the UK. Distributed free to 8,000 businesses across Essex BTIE is also available free online as a flipbook magazine. It offers a wealth of news, views and information on the Essex business scene as well as marketing opportunities for businesses of all types and sizes.
  • Bare Native is an organic cosmetics company from Mersea Island. It saw the problem of tonnes of oyster shells being thrown into landfill each year by local restaurants as it’s against the law for shells to be thrown back into the water because of the bacteria that then kills growing oysters around the estuary. Bare Native explored the benefits of oyster shell powder and transcended it into the formulation of specialised skin care, upcycling oyster shells in the process without the use of toxic chemicals. It’s skin care line works with the world-famous, Colchester Native Oyster and has proven that the rare composition of the oyster shell is an incredible exfoliant and healing aid to the skin’s epidermal layer.

Image credit: BEST Growth Hub

Colchester – Ultra Ready

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