Oxfordshire Business First, the not-for-profit business network, is to join the B4 Network, which has been connecting businesses through online and face-to-face events for 18 years.
To mark the merger, the two organisations have provided a bursary to fund the membership of up to six startup businesses that can gain from the advice and guidance of some of the county’s best companies.
B4 Chief Executive Richard Rosser called the merger the next step in the evolution of business networks as a driver for economic growth and social responsibility.
“Oxfordshire Business First is an organisation we have admired for many years for its innovative approach to engaging businesspeople in growing their individual companies as well as supporting community activities, “said Rosser.
“For instance, Oxfordshire Business First’s Big Gig innovation events have run for 10 years and have benefited nearly 70 companies. The “Carbon Monsters” events, in conjunction with Oxford Brookes Business School, raised awareness of the importance of the climate crisis and provided practical advice as to how businesspeople could make a difference.”
“B4 has been building bridges between companies for 18 years. Our ‘ecosystems’ or special interest groups bring together members in specific disciplines, to grapple with, comment on and explore shared challenges and opportunities. B4 also provides one of the largest business news networks in the county enabling companies to share information across social media.
“As the two organisations shared an ethos and a belief in ‘businesses helping businesses’, bringing the two together as one united, strong, and effective network was an obvious choice. It gives us a platform for extending the great initiatives in both organisations across a much wider group of Oxfordshire companies.
“The bursary we’ve established also enables us to engage with startup companies that might not otherwise be able to join the network. Now we can offer them the best advice, the strongest connections, and the fastest start in their business careers.”
More information about applying for a B4 start up membership will be announced soon. Information on B4 can be found at https://www.b4-business.com/.