Starting, growing, or maintaining a business can be challenging – particularly in current economic conditions – and is often an isolating experience.

Enter OxLEP Business: the growth hub for Oxfordshire. Over the last couple of years, we have never seen such an appetite for community and knowledge-sharing. There has been a significant resurgence in businesses looking to network, collaborate and immerse themselves back into the thick of what – to many – it truly means to be a business in Oxfordshire.

We have seen a significant desire for businesses to find like-minded individuals – with events such as our ‘Women In Business’ gatherings gaining unprecedented levels of popularity. The gatherings offer the opportunity for women to build trusted relationships, whilst increasing their business knowledge, and raising awareness of their business and personal brand.

Perhaps another reason why the ‘Women in Business’ events are so popular is the ‘in-person’ nature of the gatherings, bringing networks of women together to collaborate with an openness somewhat harder to replicate through the screen. At OxLEP we recognise the importance of providing these spaces for like-minded individuals, to enable business communities that not only utilise our support – but the support of each other – to truly thrive.

Our next Women in Business’ gathering is set to take place on Tuesday 27 February, featuring guest speaker Beth Kirk, founder of Socially Oxford, who will be sharing her experience and knowledge, having worked with start-ups and well-established brands to help them cut through the social media overwhelm and develop a strategic approach to establishing an online social media presence.


Another series of events that have seen significant take-up in recent times are our ‘OxBOoSt’ (Oxfordshire Business Opportunities & Support network) sessions, with the group meeting on the first Tuesday of every month, for a hybrid event – consisting of opportunities for both open networking and pitching through 5 pre-arranged slots, along with a forward look of business support on offer from OxLEP.

The ‘OxBOoSt’ sessions vary between sessions delivered both virtually and ‘in-person’, but one constant is the desire for our clients – and the Oxfordshire business community more generally – to come together in any form of space, to story tell, to share ideas and to ultimately find their ‘people’ in the ever-changing business landscape.

Labelled the ‘number 1 regular meet-up for Oxfordshire businesses who want to connect, collaborate, and exchange ideas’ – and responding to the continual desire to bring together at least some of the thousands of business owners and leaders OxLEP engages with every year, to share knowledge and advice – the next OxBOoSt session is set to take place online on Tuesday 6 February.

In our OxLEP ‘SIGHT’ (Start, Innovate, Grow, Help to Thrive) Impact Report unveiled at the end of last year – reflecting on the impacts of our business support on Oxfordshire businesses from October 2016 to March 2023 – it was revealed that collectively during the timeframe, the OxLEP Business and OxLEP Skills teams engaged with over 6,200 businesses, providing them with around 18,000 hours of support and advice, worth over £28.75 million.

During the same time period – associated with a period of financial turbulence and challenging conditions brought via the Covid-19 pandemic – nearly 15% of businesses supported by OxLEP reported that they had grown by 10% or more per year.

This latest impact report brings to life the true breadth and impact our work has had across Oxfordshire’s business community – and the resilience of Oxfordshire businesses, despite turbulent times – and it is our aim to continue to bring together our clients with their peers, to share their stories and build on this sense of business community.

Keen to showcase our vast business support offering, this new year we have a whole host of business support events taking place to set your business up to achieve those 2024 ambitions. View all our upcoming events >

Still haven’t engaged with us as of yet and unsure what business support could be on offer to you? Fill out our quick and easy Business Support Tool to receive your bespoke Business Support Action Plan >

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