Scaffolders and Tennis coaching CIC head “strongest ever” SONBC field

SONBC13 winnersA scaffolding firm and a tennis coaching enterprise have been named as winners of the Southern Oxfordshire New Business Competition from a field described as the strongest since it started. They were chosen as winners from 24 entries to the competition, which is for businesses in southern Oxfordshire within their first two years of trading.

Charlie Caulkett’s EasyScaff ( scaffolding services supplier for domestic and short term commercial projects, based at Chilton near Didcot, was one winner. It’s grown quickly to employ nine local scaffolders, and has customers across the south of England and the Midlands. Charlie says: “We are tremendously excited to receive the award. We have always tried to provide high service levels at competitive rates and ensure that our clients are happy. It’s a fantastic boost that our efforts have been recognised by the SONBC judges, and the additional support that we get from winning the competition will be extremely valuable.”

They are joined as winners by Community Tennis Association CIC ( founded by Ed Nieburg in Didcot. Set up as a non-profit making tennis coaching enterprise, it aims to help reduce the price barriers associated with playing tennis, and has already helped more than 400 new players play the game regularly, and run free taster sessions for more than 4,000 school pupils. Ed says: “I am extremely pleased and honoured that CTA has been recognised by the SONBC as one of the strongest new businesses in Southern Oxfordshire. The recognition and prestige that is attached to the competition will have a positive impact for our organisation as well as providing further confidence in our model to support community driven tennis provision.”

As their prize EasyScaff will start using a Jennings virtual office service with call answering, and the Community Tennis Association CIC will be moving into an office in the Jennings Didcot Business Centre, all free for 12 months. The winners joined the competition sponsors at a celebration lunch with guest speaker Dr Mick Donegan of the local ‘Games for All’ charity, SpecialEffect. The judges also chose three runners up: heat transfer systems technologists, Oxford Nanosystems Ltd; design engineering consultancy, QODA Consulting Ltd; and Thame’s locally-sourced arts and crafts shop, FROM.

The competition ( is run by long-established Oxfordshire business landlords, Jennings, with support from Oxford Business Mentors, Lloyds TSB Commercial, web designers Oxlink, South Oxfordshire District Council, Vale of White Horse District Council, micro loan financiers, Fredericks Oxfordshire, The Late Breakfast networking groups, and business PR & Communications specialists, PRBI. Jennings Commercial Manager, Chris Williams, says: “This was the strongest field we’ve had since SONBC first ran in 2005, both in terms of the success the businesses have generated in such a short space of time, but also looking at the variety of business types we had to choose from. The judges had a really tough job, so it’s a real accolade for Charlie and his team at EasyScaff and Ed’s Community Tennis Association CIC.”

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