WOAPA - LBA finalists
- Website Energisers, Banbury
- Infrastruct CS, Eynsham
- Illustrate My Name, Freeland
- Next Generation Solar, Woodstock
- Oxford Model Store, Abingdon
- Ross and Ross Food, Chipping Norton
- Body Politic, Kennington
- House Hop, Wantage
- The Little Orchard Company, Shenington
- West Oxfordshire Academy of Performing Arts, Witney, Oxford
- WorldBeatsMusic, Shippon
One business owner who was delighted to be shortlisted is Brian Conroy, of the West Oxfordshire Academy of Performing Arts (WOAPA), based in Witney.
He said: I am just amazed to reach the final 11. If I am one of the winners the mentoring will be particularly appealing.
I did get some when I first started but now I would like some more to take me through to the next stage. I am operating in a niche market and there are not many people I can approach. It would be good to have someone to talk to about issues when they arise.
Mr Conroy says the academy, which teaches singing and drama to children and adults at Henry Box School in Witney, has been going bananas recently, with more and more people signing up.
He added: The Saturday morning school is now full and we opened a second school on November 10 on Saturday afternoons. We now have three classes for four to six-year-olds and have been asked to set up a class for children with learning disabilities.
About 150 adults & youngsters have also recorded a CD of songs the proceeds of which will go towards Cancer Research.
Mr Cross and fellow judges and mentors Mike Jennings, of Chalgrove-based Jennings business parks, and Bob Urwin, who runs lettings agent Martin & Co in Oxford, will now interview the shortlist with three winners ultimately selected for the prize package.
An overall winner will then be selected to go forward into the regional round of the competition and, if successful, into the national finals.
One overall star business will be put forward to be in with a chance to gain Dragons Den star Deborah Meaden as a mentor during 2013.
Ms Meaden said: With last years LBA having demonstrated the unique power of local and regional press to provide a meaningful boost to promising young businesses, I am delighted to be supporting the initiative once again.
The campaign provided tangible examples of the real contribution that local newspapers can provide to young businesses across many different sectors, accelerating their development.