Oxfordshire’s women in business are being encouraged to sign-up to a whole host of business support sessions this autumn, with a number of Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership-led workshops being specifically-designed and delivered by women, for women looking to move their organisation onto the next level.
OxLEP Business has historically supported enterprise-driven women through a variety of opportunities. Its ‘Women in Business’ sessions have proved extremely popular since it was launched last year, with gatherings being held across several locations in Oxfordshire – its most-recent, taking place last Tuesday (10 October) in Witney, supported female business founders, leaders and managers. It's next scheduled session is due to take place on 5 December in Oxford.
Later this month, OxLEP Business will host a ‘Women in Business and Tech’ webinar – led by the Managing Director of cyber recruitment agency Keen People, Rebecca Keen – encouraging women, representing all sectors, to come together to discuss the intersection of women, business and technology.
Taking place on 26 October, the event is part of suite of opportunities lined-up this autumn including one-off support sessions, as well as a range of ongoing support options.
In addition, since launching in September, OxLEP Business’ latest Women in Leadership Peer Network group – led by expert professional coach, Paula Nickson – has offered Oxfordshire’s women in business the opportunity on a fortnightly basis to come together and improve and identify solutions to business issues.
Away from women-led events, OxLEP continues to provide a variety of business support sessions, with upcoming opportunities created to back businesses across several stages of their respective journeys. This includes sessions on creating ‘authentic stories’ for a business, exporting advice for those looking to trade beyond the UK and the ‘foundations to growth’ network group.
Supporting women in business is a key focus for OxLEP Business, who operate as the Growth Hub for Oxfordshire, simplifying the business support landscape and helping individuals and businesses to easily connect.
They provide specific business support programmes for organisations that are starting out, growing, have a purpose beyond profit, or are innovating, diversifying or pivoting their business.
Helen Brind – Growth Hub Manager at OxLEP – said: “At a time where businesses, not just in Oxfordshire, but across the country are seeking support to help their continued recovery from the effects of Covid-19 and the ongoing financial challenges likely brought to the fore by inflation and the cost of living, the role of growth hubs – including that of OxLEP Business – has never been more critical.
“On top of this, supporting Oxfordshire’s women in business has been an ongoing priority of ours and we are delighted to provide top expertise, spaces to network, and a community that women in business can rely on and engage with well into the future.”
Throughout last summer, much of OxLEP Business’ support provided guidance on several aspects that dictate a company’s growth journey – with free sessions focused on understanding B2B customers, through to mastering financial planning for small businesses.
Between April 2021 and March 2022, OxLEP Business provided over 6,000 hours of business support – valued at over £3,500,000 – with 388 jobs safeguarded or created through engagement with them.
OxLEP Business also provided over £2.5million-worth of grant funding direct to Oxfordshire businesses during the same period, with a total of 1,500 businesses or individuals supported and a further 1,300 businesses triaged to the right support over those 12 months.
Going into the autumn and winter, businesses continue to be encouraged to complete OxLEP Business’ business support tool, which leads to the delivery of a bespoke support plan. The business support tool takes just a few moments to complete.
Helen Brind added: “If you are actively looking to scale-up your operations, or perhaps seek to understand what you might need to achieve your future ambitions, now is exactly the right time to speak with OxLEP Business and discover what support is on offer.”