WOBA’s 10th Anniversary Finalists Announced

Tuesday February 18th 2020

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Over 200 people from local businesses gathered at Cokethorpe School, Witney, last night (Thursday) at the Celebration of Business event where the finalists of this year’s West Oxfordshire Business Awards (WOBA) were revealed.

WOBA 2020 finalists include:

  • STL Communications – a finalist in three categories recognising the company’s role as a fantastic West Oxfordshire employer along with its huge commitment to charity via Twin Town Challenge, spearheaded by managing director, Brendon Cross.  The company has also been shortlisted for the special Winner of Winners Award to mark WOBA’s 10th anniversary
  • Oxford Welding Supplies – a finalist in two categories, this family run micro business has seen a father and two sons successfully deploy an online marketing strategy to outsell competitors across the UK and Europe
  • Neve’s Bees – a finalist in two categories and founded by a mother and her daughter (Neve) who are Oxfordshire beekeepers. The company makes 100% natural skincare products with a little help from their bees

The full list of finalists can be viewed here

Julie Macken, Deputy Queen Bee of Neve’s Bees, said: “We’re so excited to be a WOBA finalist and that so many people love our products.  We donate 5p from every sale to BBOWT (Berks, Bucks & Oxon Wildlife Trust) to help save our beautiful wildlife and countryside.”

Jon Langford, Managing Director, Oxford Welding Supplies was joined by his son Nathan at the event with his other son watching via video call.  The news of being named a WOBA finalist in two categories was met with rapturous applause.  Jon said:

“It is absolutely fantastic and amazing to be a finalist in the micro and retail categories.  It is great that a small business like ours is recognised for the service we provide to our customers and for our hard work.”

The future of West Oxfordshire looks bright according to Damian Ettinger, Headmaster, Cokethorpe School, sponsor of the new Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award.  He said:

“I have been hugely impressed by the drive, articulation and passion demonstrated by all entrants in this category. West Oxfordshire’s young entrepreneurs represent quality businesses in our county and indeed our country.”

Jo Sensecall, WOBA team member, added: “The judges have faced an enormous challenge this year, a testament to the breadth and quality of businesses and hard working people that represent West Oxfordshire. With the high calibre of finalists, our 10th anniversary celebration is poised to become the best yet.”

WOBA 2020 winners will be announced at WOBA’s 10th Anniversary Gala Dinner, 27 March, Heythrop Park Resort, where a collection will be held for Guideposts Trust, winner of Charity of the Year Award 2019.  Among other projects based in Oxfordshire, Guideposts run Witney’s ‘Dig N Grow’ service to provide new skills to adults with learning difficulties.

All finalists are considered for the Cally Robson Award to recognise an outstanding business with great potential and all category winners, except Business Person of the Year Award and Young Entrepreneur Award, are considered for the Aston & James West Oxfordshire Business of the Year Award.