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Bury St Edmunds business mentors, MENTA, celebrates 40 years supporting business across Suffolk and Norfolk

A business support organisation which has helped tens of thousands of businesses across two counties is celebrating a major milestone today.

MENTA, based at The Vision Centre, Eastern Way, Bury St Edmunds, is celebrating its 40th anniversary.

The organisation, which offers a range of innovative business support services, has lined up a series of events throughout the year to celebrate the achievement.

Alex Till, CEO MENTA
Alex Till, CEO MENTA

Chief executive Alex Till said: “It’s absolutely fantastic to be able to celebrate the 40th anniversary of MENTA, the leading enterprise agency supporting new, emerging and existing microbusinesses across Suffolk and Norfolk.

”This milestone is testament to the organisation which over last 40 years has supported more than 50,000 small businesses and start-ups; something which is absolutely needed throughout the two counties.

”It is just a great pleasure to have supported so many people; on one on occasion, even three generations of the same family who are now able to lead prosperous and economic lives being driven by themselves.

The opening of the @Inc co-working space. Picture: Greyhound Creative
The opening of the @Inc co-working space. Picture: Greyhound Creative

”We are going to be having pop-ups throughout the year, and will be celebrating the opening of Southwold hub this month as part of the celebrations; to raise awareness of the vast impact MENTA is having.”

MENTA was launched originally in Whiting Street. It now has co-working spaces in Bury, Felixstowe, Southwold, which are run under its brand @Inc brand, alongside serviced offices in Bury, Haverhill and Brandon.

It offers a range of support services including workshops, mentoring and networking events.

Alex Till has overseen significant growth for the organisation during his tenure as chief executive over the past 10 years.

MENTA is key to the success of the West Suffolk Business Festival. Picture: Greyhound Creative
MENTA is key to the success of the West Suffolk Business Festival. Picture: Greyhound Creative

This achieved through championing the cause of small businesses, providing them with the resources, guidance and opportunities needed to thrive.

MENTA has grown to more than 20 employees, including business advisors and trainers from a range of entrepreneurial backgrounds.

MENTA has empowered entrepreneurs to turn their ideas into successful ventures, creating a ‘ripple effect’ of prosperity and growth across the region.

The organisation runs both co-working spaces and serviced offices
The organisation runs both co-working spaces and serviced offices

It has built a reputation as a trusted partner for small businesses across the East Anglia.

Alex Till added: “Here’s to another 40 years of innovation, collaboration and growth for businesses, with MENTA by their side.”

MENTA is overseen by a board of directors from a range of business backgrounds.

Alistair Ponder, chairman, said: “We have all been delighted to see the sustained growth and development of MENTA.

”Alex Till and the team deserve great credit for all of their efforts and we are very much looking forward to seeing the organisation continue to go from strength to strength, providing essential business support throughout East Anglia”.

@Inc co-working space, Felixstowe
@Inc co-working space, Felixstowe

Robert Masson, non-executive director, said “As one of MENTA’s early clients from back in the 1980s and as one of its directors for the past 10 years, it has been a pleasure to watch MENTA grow and develop over its 40-year history.

”Whilst we have seen many changes over this time, the organisation has stuck to its not-for-profit vision and goals, providing valuable support to start-up and growth organisations.”

Jane Cattermole, director Baytree VA, ex-board member, said: “I’m very proud of our relationship with MENTA.

”They were there to support me when I started my company in 2008 and we in turn have enjoyed supporting them as a client in various roles in 14 years of working together.

”I was also delighted to be on the board for 10 years and learnt so much. West Suffolk is fortunate to have such a well-respected enterprise agency. “

@Inc co-working Space Bury St Edmunds. Picture: Greyhound Creative
@Inc co-working Space Bury St Edmunds. Picture: Greyhound Creative

In 2023, Unmatched marketing agency scooped a highly commended award in the Best New Start-up category of the Bury Free Press West Suffolk Business Awards.

The company, based at The Vision Centre, Eastern Way Bury, said MENTA had been a key cornerstone of its success.

Matt Freestone, founder and managing director, said: “As a startup business, having the right environment is important in those all-important early days.

“Our base at MENTA quickly became the nurturing ground where Unmatched flourished, enabling us to expand our team from two to five and quickly establish an atmosphere conducive to productivity and space to be creative.

MENTA is celebrating its 40th birthday
MENTA is celebrating its 40th birthday

“The facilities provided have been invaluable, especially regarding usage of the meeting room during simultaneous calls or when hosting clients for onsite workshops.

“What really sticks out, however, is the collective spirit amongst the team here, who make this building a pleasant and friendly place to work. You can tell that they want you to succeed.”

For more information, visit: www.menta.org.uk