Eighty guests from a variety of backgrounds found out more about the programme from B4’s CEO, Richard Rosser and heard from invited guests supporting the programme.
Amongst these, Grant Hayward of Collaborent, who came up with the name NEXUS, explained how the programme will serve to connect Oxfordshire’s business community. “NEXUS is a fantastic initiative and provides organisations who might not otherwise have the opportunity to benefit from B4’s excellent platforms with the opportunity to do so. I work with a lot of social enterprises, charities and micro businesses that have a lot to offer B4 member companies in ways they probably haven’t considered; potentially commercial opportunities too. NEXUS is perfectly placed to facilitate these creative collaborations at no cost.”
The launch took place on World Mental Health Day and sports psychotherapist, Gary Bloom, explained to guests how mental health is affecting all of us. “Mental Health has many faces and companies are having to realise that this is an issue they need to provide support for. Businesses get sick, that’s a fact and we have to be tuned in to supporting those that are affected, not turn a blind eye. There are some excellent mental health organisations in Oxfordshire who will welcome the support of NEXUS.”
WHAT IS NEXUS ?
The NEXUS programme provides social enterprises, charities, sole traders, new businesses and more with three key benefits: membership of B4, one of Oxfordshire’s leading B2B networking groups; partnership of Oxfordshire Voice, a public / private partnership designed to find solutions for the key issues affecting Oxfordshire businesses; and finally, a speaking slot or exhibition stand at Business in Oxford (BIO2020), Oxfordshire’s leading B2B conference, a three day event starting on Tuesday 2nd June, 2020.
B4’s Richard Rosser explained how the spirit of collaboration and goodwill that the NEXUS programme is already stimulating will climax at BIO2020. “We’re already seeing some excellent strategic partnerships forming between some great organisations and we’re hoping to reach in excess of 100 NEXUS partnerships by the time of BIO2020. The event itself will invite Oxfordshire’s business community to ‘Change The Way You Think’ in line with a global movement to focus businesses on the need to become more responsible in everything they do. The link between NEXUS and BIO2020 is clear – we’ve all got to change how we think and supporting organisations who can help us do this makes 100% sense.”
Tony Hobbs, Partner at Chapman, Robinson and Moore, spoke alongside CRM’s chosen partner, Sian Renwick, Director of Quest for Learning. Tony underlined how important the relationship with Quest for Learning is for his business. “We have been working with Sian and the team at Quest for a number of years and I think when businesses consider partnerships with charities, they underestimate the positive impact on their business, not just the impact they can have by supporting a charity.” Sian added, “We are so grateful to CRM for the support they have given us over the years and the NEXUS partnership opportunity has taken that to another level by connecting us with even more organisations in Oxfordshire with whom we can develop relationships. We’re really excited by NEXUS.”
A catalyst for B4’s development of the NEXUS programme was the Blenheim Palace Business Start-Up Competition which gives recently launched retailers the opportunity to sell their product through Blenheim. B4 has supported the competition for the past two years by providing all finalists with B4 memberships, to further enhance the support that Blenheim already provide. Speaking alongside Blenheim’s CEO, Dominic Hare, Jessica Hickman-Woolcott, owner of Wild & Fine and Hannah Rogan, Wild & Fine’s Marketing Manager, explained how important support is for new businesses. “We have benefited hugely from the opportunities provided by Blenheim and B4, and the NEXUS programme will provide more organisations like ours with invaluable support at a critical stage of their development.”
Dominic added, “We are working very hard to support not only local businesses but also charities and social enterprises. It is vital, as one of the county’s larger businesses, that we set the example and encourage more businesses to become more responsible in as many ways as possible. The NEXUS programme is a huge boost for organisations like Wild & Fine and we are fully supportive of it and all that B4 is doing to help Oxfordshire’s business community.”
Also speaking at the event, former High Sheriff of Oxfordshire, Richard Venables (Director, VSL & Partners) reiterated how the corporate world should look to NEXUS to provide support. “I’ve been fortunate to connect and meet with some fantastic people and superb organisations, especially in my post as High Sheriff. We can’t do enough to promote the unseen work of thousands in the county who deserve all the recognition and support that we can provide them with. NEXUS is a great way to do this and we’re delighted to be partnering with Oxfordshire Youth and know they will benefit hugely from being part of the B4 community.”
Oxfordshire Community Foundation’s Chief Executive, Jayne Woodley, said that one voice to help more is a positive way forward. “Nexus is all about CHANGING THE WAY YOU THINK – or rebooting our mind sets as I see it – in some ways it’s simply an evolution not revolution (shining a light on all the great stuff that is already happening but also paving the way and making it easier for others to take action too).
“We can all begin by acknowledging that it is often difficult to leave our egos and organisations at the door, yet know that if we work together for our common good we can ‘close the gap’ – that aspirational space that exists between what we would like to happen and what we would ever actually achieve on our own. We all have a choice to replicate or collaborate – not such a difficult decision just one that requires us to believe there is something that we can all be a part of and I believe Nexus has the potential to be that.”
To find out more about NEXUS and becoming a partner or sponsor, visit:
Find your Partner or Supporter at one of our NEXUS Introduction Events. Visit b4nexus.eventbrite.com to register
SEE MORE from the event
Photos from NEXUS launch:
Oxfordshire Voice: www.oxvoice.co.uk
The NEXUS programme benefits: https://nexus.b4-business.com/programme/
NEXUS Partnerships confirmed: https://nexus.b4-business.com/partners-confirmed/