Oxfordshire celebrates businesses as a force for good with POP2021 (not COP26 but with similar ambitions)

Oxford’s Covered Market

You’ve heard of COP26? Now discover POP2021.

POP2021 Power Of Purpose Week wants businesses of all kinds to join dozens of social enterprises and businesses committed to addressing social and environmental impacts at its Marketplace event on 18th November. It is one of the activities focused on the growing social, community and purposeful business sector which is now an established part of the county’s economy.

There might not be as many world leaders at POP2021, but that doesn’t matter.

Sarah Beal, who manages a support programme for social enterprises for the local Growth Hub, OxLEP Business, said: “Businesses can get a lot from having social or community goals sitting alongside the obvious need to be profitable. It has been a trend over the last few years and plenty of businesses now have ambitions to be a force for good in a variety of ways. For example, businesses shifting to being much more sustainable.”

The Marketplace is open to any business, and it is a chance to find out more about making social and environmental goals part of enterprise and learn about the support available from OxLEP for a range of business needs.

“We want anyone running a small business to come along. Like every market, it is a chance meet other entrepreneurs, make great contacts and talk about the issues facing business in general” Sarah explained. “The whole week is packed with events for businesses committed to doing something which can be called a force for a good. In particular, it’s those which have participated in the eScalate programme which has been delivered for us by our partner OSEP.”

According to Ashley Cavers at OSEP, the Community Interest Company delivering POP2021, there will be events for businesses with community or social purpose throughout the week.

“We’re excited to be showcasing businesses which are a force for good in Oxfordshire. More and more businesses are putting social and environmental impact at the core of their work, and this is an opportunity to celebrate that, and showcase the inspiring work being done through the eScalate programme.”

One of the enterprises participating is Oxford’s TAP Social. Director, Tess Taylor said: “We are so excited to be part of POP2021 as it celebrates many brilliant organisations in our county that are using business as a force for good; a value that is core to us at Tap. The eScalate programme has supported and highlighted the incredible work that purposeful businesses can do and has inspired us and others to continue raising awareness about the potential that every organisation holds. We’re looking forward to the many events of POP2021 and to meeting more like-minded people in Oxfordshire.”