After hearing from all eight finalists we decided to support two different small businesses; Neve’s Bees, who produce 100% natural beeswax skin care products, and designer and artist Kathryn Coxson, who has created a range of clothing accessories and homeware.
The final eight were selected from a list of 55 initial applicants and we are already looking at staging a similar event next year.
Dominic Hare, CEO at Blenheim, said:
“Overall we were really pleased with the extremely high standard of all the pitches and it was an incredibly difficult decision to come up with an overall winner; so we ended up choosing two!
Both Kathryn’s and Neve’s Bees’ presentations appealed to us as they have already demonstrated a very positive attitude to getting their businesses off the ground and it’s that dedication and enthusiasm which we were particularly looking for."
As part of their prize, the winners will receive a contract to supply their products in our retail areas at Blenheim Palace. They will also get support with marketing and profiling, as well as ongoing advice from business mentors. Each business has also been given a B4 Membership, offering them exclusive networking in the Oxfordshire area.
“The level of interest has been extremely high and we want to continue to work with enthusiastic and motivated businesses and entrepreneurs, as they are helping to strengthen and develop the local economy.
The failure rate of startups within their first couple of years is extremely high. We believe this scheme will not only provide great new products for Blenheim but also help to ensure more businesses survive and thrive.
Initially we’ve chosen people who can supply us with products for our retail outlets, however, the plan is to expand this to other business sectors in the future," added Dominic.