Oxford Rural Entrepreneurs is back!

The return of the Oxford Rural Entrepreneurs networking events in 2024 brings excitement to the community, with five outstanding businesses hosting events that will travel to all of Rural Oxfords townships this spring and summer.

Crystal van Roekel, Rural Oxford’s Economic Development Officer, expressed the enthusiasm of community partners for the continuation of these events.  “A survey was released at the end of last years events to gauge interest and gain some feedback from attendees, Rural business owners really see value in these events – so we knew it was important to continue them into 2024.” The networking events offer a diverse blend of businesses from across the county, providing a platform for owners to connect, collaborate, share ideas, and enjoy local snacks and drinks while learning about the host business. Crystal highlighted the numerous benefits of attending such events, including the opportunity to build rapport with others in the business community.

The 2023 events saw upwards of 30 attendees per event with hopes of drawing more entrepreneurs this year. “We have a unique dynamic to these events, the emphasis is truly on enjoying a social night out with like minded individuals.” Crystal adds. The events are held at businesses that can accommodate outdoor settings, offering attendees a delightful ‘patio-like’ experience on summer nights. However, arrangements can be made to move indoors if weather conditions are unfavorable. Thanks to the sponsorship of community partners, tickets for these events are provided at no cost to business owners. Rural Oxford Economic Development manages ticket distribution through their website. Although attendance is free, the organization requests a head count to manage food waste effectively.

The Oxford Rural Entrepreneurs committee is made up of a collaboration of partner organizations across the county including: Rural Oxford Economic Development, Community Futures Oxford, The Small Business Centre, Oxford County Library and Libro Credit Union. A local business venue in each Rural Oxford township has agreed to host one of these travelling networking sessions. “That is our focus, and it will always remain in the rural townships where there are many incredible small businesses. This is rural networking at its roots,” adds van Roekel.

Events are scheduled as followed:

  • April 10th, 6-8pm,  Bright Cheese and Butter
  • May 8th, 6-8pm, Willow Grove Animal Wellness Centre
  • June 12th, 6-8pm, Gunns Hill Artisan Cheese
  • July 10th, 6-8pm, Deep Purple Lavender Farm
  • Aug 14th, 6-8pm, Orange Door Acres Farm

To register for these networking events, go to ruraloxford.ca/networking.

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