WOBA reveals new awards to celebrate 10th anniversary


Oxfordshire’s business community gathered at Blenheim Palace on Wednesday evening for the launch of the 10th annual West Oxfordshire Business Awards (WOBA) which saw organisers announce new categories to mark a decade of honouring successful West Oxfordshire businesses.

New WOBA 2020 categories include the Wise Investment Winner of Winners Award open to all previous WOBA winners to recognise who is truly flying the flag for West Oxfordshire in addition to the Young Entrepreneur Award open to people under the age of 30 as WOBA looks towards the next ten years.

WOBA organisers are campaigning to make WOBA 2020 the biggest celebration of business this decade, as the awards will be taking a year off next year.

Jo Sensecall, spokesperson for the WOBA team, said: “WOBA 2020 is a unique opportunity for businesses to gain recognition at a time when West Oxfordshire is thriving. We are excited to be celebrating our 10th anniversary and have refined some of our existing categories in addition to creating new categories to help ensure the awards are open to any West Oxfordshire business, irrespective of size or sector.”

Aston & James are the new headline sponsor for the West Oxfordshire Business of the Year 2020.

Jo Sensecall commented: “Aston & James as a company embodies what WOBA stands for; It started as small entrepreneurial venture and is now celebrating its 30th year of supplying workplace solutions in Oxfordshire, not to mention they are a previous WOBA Winner!”

Referring to the decision not to run the WOBAs in 2021, Jo Sensecall added “We have had 10 wonderful years of WOBAs but the cycle of running the Awards is relentless. This is the right time to take a year out, give the team a well-earned rest so we can review what we do well, what we can improve and come back properly refreshed for another 10 years.”

Commenting on why a business should enter WOBA 2020, Joshua Taee, Managing Director, Huffkins, who won three awards in 2017, said: “Becoming a WOBA Winner had wonderful effects for Huffkins. For our team it was a very welcome source of independent recognition for the hard work put in. Naturally our company benefitted greatly from the platform and exposure, but the application process itself was perhaps most valuable of all because it forced us to reflect on and review our strategy over the successive years in which we entered. This culminated in a clearer focus and sense of identity permeating throughout our organisation.”

Entries for WOBA 2020 are now open and it is FREE to enter. Entries close at midnight, Monday 2 December 2019. Finalists will be revealed in February with WOBA 2020 winners announced at a 10th Anniversary Gala Dinner in March 2020.

Download and submit your entry form at woba.org.uk. See below for a full list of categories:

• Retail Award (available for sponsorship)
Meech Business & Community Award
Owen Mumford Innovation Award
The MGroup Employer of the Year Award
Blenheim Palace New Business Award
Witney Business & Innovation Centre Micro Business Award (open to businesses with less than 4 employees including sole traders)
Convolo Personnel Small SME Award (open to businesses with 4 – 10 employees)
Sandler Training Large SME Award (open to businesses with more than 11 staff or an annual turnover of over £3m)
• Young Entrepreneur Award (open to under 30s and available for sponsorship)
CQR Business Person of the Year Award
Wise Investment Winner of Winners Award (open to all previous WOBA winners, including WOBA supporters, sponsors or team members)
Aston & James West Oxfordshire Business of the Year Award