Finalists announced for WOBA 2018

Wednesday February 14th 2018

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Finalists of the 2018 West Oxfordshire Business Awards (WOBA) were revealed last night at a unique Celebration of Business event hosted by Abbott Diabetes Care in Witney to provide entrants with a behind-the-scenes look at one of West Oxfordshire’s most exciting businesses.

This year sees 33 finalists compete across 11 categories for the opportunity to be crowned a WOBA 2018 winner next month. The 2018 finalists include:

Panoramic Journeys (NatWest Small Business Award) built on a shoestring that has doubled its turnover in the last year. The company, founded by a husband and wife team, designs handcrafted holidays to Mongolia, Bhutan and Myanmar and also operate as ‘media fixers’ working for production teams.  Back in 2004, they arranged Ewan McGregor’s Long Way Round and most recently organised the Mongolia shoot for the BBC’s Big Cats series.  Based in Chadlington, Panoramic Journeys’ business plan is centred on the United Nations 17 SDG goals that ensure a responsible, sustainable and ethical approach to business. This has included Panoramic Journeys building a school in Myanmar and helping local families living in its three specialist countries to run projects and provide products. 

Hunters Cake Café (Blenheim Palace New Business Award) founded by a 22 year-old entrepreneur with a passion for baking cake who convinced his family to re-mortgage their home to start the business. Hunters is now holding its own in a competitive space consisting of over 20 coffee shops / cafés in Witney and has grown to become a business with a six figure turnover in less than three years.

Manor Cottages (Huffkins Hospitality Leisure & Tourism Award and First Sight Media Marketing Excellence Award) a Burford based business with 12 employees managing over 400 cottages that bring people to West Oxfordshire, contributing to the local economy. The company has demonstrated impressive growth and has become renowned for delivering a high level of customer service.

All the finalists in the 2018 WOBA Awards which were announced at Abbott Diabetes Care in Witney
Picture: Ric Mellis at Abbott Diabetes Care, Witney 13/2/18

Jo Sensecall from the WOBA organising team, said: “Congratulations to our diverse range of finalists representing the District of West Oxfordshire. They are all shining examples of what can be achieved with hard work, dedication and a passion for success. We wish them all the best of luck and look forward to revealing the winners next month.”

Commenting on becoming a WOBA 2018 finalist, Karina Moreton, co-founder of Panoramic Journeys said: “This is a great celebration for our business journey and makes us feel part of something that is special. We have a team of dedicated people who work really hard and becoming a WOBA finalist has given us all a moment to take a step back, look at what we have achieved and to recognise what we have built.”

All WOBA category winners* will be considered for the STL West Oxfordshire Business of the Year Award and all finalists will be contenders for the Cally Robson Award, presented by the WOBA organising team to the business that best reflects the values of their late colleague Cally Robson including entrepreneurship, innovation and an ingrained sense of the community.

The WOBA 2018 charity is Bridewell Organic Gardens, a mental health charity that provides horticultural and therapeutic care. Having won the Charity Award in 2017, it will benefit from fundraising at the WOBA Gala Dinner, taking place at Heythrop Park Resort, 23 March 2018.

For a complete list of the 2018 WOBA finalists, click here