Oxford Business College has been offering free marketing to local businesses in recent months, as part of a project to champion Oxfordshire companies and to highlight the importance of business collaboration and education.
The project emerged in the aftermath of the lock down, which has affected companies across the UK. Against the backdrop of a challenging economic environment, the College has been working with Oxfordshire businesses to help raise awareness of their services, whilst also providing valuable insights for students on how to start up, develop and manage a business.
The College has worked with a variety of businesses from different backgrounds, including in the hospitality and retail sectors. Experts and entrepreneurs from these businesses have been interviewed by the College, with the interviews being broadcast and promoted via social media and the Oxford Business College website.
One of the companies involved in the project was The Cake Shop, a bespoke bakery based in Oxford’s historic covered market. Joanne Bunting, owner of The Cake Shop, explained in an interview how she’d only purchased the business in February 2020, meaning lock down had a fundamental impact on her plans. Joanne discussed how she addressed the lock down, and used the extra time available to plan improvements for the company’s marketing and website.
As well as offering businesses with valuable publicity and marketing at no cost, the interviews also give Oxford Business College students firsthand insights into some of the challenges faced by entrepreneurs. For example, the College also recently conducted an interview with Hannah Ireson, the founder of the Oxford Floatation Centre. The Centre is a well-being resort, offering floatation tank sessions and other therapies. As well as describing the process of becoming an entrepreneur, and starting her business, Hannah also explained how she reacted to the lock down by developing an e-commerce website, enabling clients to buy crystals online.
One of the key benefits of the videos is that they offer the College’s students the chance to hear the thinking that goes on behind key business decisions. Many of the skills associated with business management play an important part in the business courses offered by the College, but hearing directly from entrepreneurs gives students real life case studies to review. These case studies have been particularly useful when considering the unusual challenges associated with running a business in 2020, with the pandemic and lock downs becoming notable business hurdles.
Most importantly, the videos are a useful way of inspiring students to recognise their own potential. One of the College’s interviews featured Oxford based rapper Gianpaola Dagostino, better known as DJ Amnesia. Gianpaola explained how she and her business colleague, DJ Chris Dukes, developed a musical concept called Reggaeton Heaven, which grew bigger than either expected, and became an established business model. Despite lock down affecting the hospitality sector, the duo also launched the concept as an online radio station.
Music may not seem like an obvious business concept, but through these videos with local entrepreneurs, Oxford Business College has been highlighting that almost any good idea can be turned into a business. This in turn inspires the College’s existing and prospective students, and anyone who is interested in becoming an entrepreneur, to see the wide variety of business opportunities that are available.
The College continues to work with local businesses, both to support the Oxford economy and to inspire and encourage those who want to become the entrepreneurs of the future. If you run an Oxford business and would like to collaborate with the College, do check out our website. If you’re a budding entrepreneur with aspirations of business success, check out our business courses. More details can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1cZLwbTq1eo&list=PLqs29ZxyMTPBXt3evR38OUC1EC0l3SeWU