Social ventures in and around Oxford you should know about

exterior of Common Ground Workspace

On 15-17 October 2020, Social Enterprise UK are running a ‘Buy Social’ campaign, showcasing the incredible social ventures that are set up with the sole intention to support communities.

In the spirit of the campaign, Skoll Centre Programme Manager for Social Ventures, Chris Blues, shares ten brilliant organisations local to Oxford. We hope this list will serve useful to our community, and welcome you to share your own suggestions with us on Twitter using #BuySocial!

Tap Social Movement 

Tap Social Movement was founded in an attempt to stop this vicious cycle by providing opportunities which set people up for long-term fulfilling employment. 

Check them out and grab a beer along the way. 

Yellow Submarine Café

Yellow Submarine believes that people with learning disabilities and autism deserve to live life to the full. They also do one of the best flat white coffees in town. 

Broken Spoke Bike Coop

Broken Spoke was started by people who are really passionate about cycling, they provide open workshop support, mechanics courses, cycle training, women’s and transgender people only mechanics sessions, and a hub of information for people who cycle (or really want to). 

Oxford Wood Recycling

Oxford Wood Recycling is reclaiming and offering for sale wood from commercially run waste collections. It has proved itself, and the social enterprise, now an award winning charity, has exciting plans to develop its mission further in order to maximise the benefits to the local community. 

Raw Workshop 

Raw work with an incredible workforce that have fought, and won, against the odds. They also make incredible high-quality furniture. Check them out.

Common Ground Café 

Common Ground Café and Shared Workspace is a social enterprise pop-up in the Oxford University owned building in Little Clarendon Street, which was formerly Barclays Bank. They are a calm space that connects the community, and they have morphed into a social space where people can come and do their own thing. 

Objects of Use

Objects of Use is a modern-day hardware store, home to a unique selection of everyday household tools, conscientiously sourced from around the globe. Their collection brings together centuries of tradition, passed through the hands and minds of generations, made with practiced skill, using low-impact methods and materials. 


OxWash believe laundry and dry cleaning shouldn’t cost the Earth. They are re-engineering the laundry process from the ground up; their aim is for clinically-clean, net zero carbon emissions for the whole process, from collection, through washing and back to delivery. 

Café From Crisis

Although it is currently closed due to Covid-19. Since 2011 they have worked to end homelessness through practical hospitality and catering training whist serving fresh and socially conscious food and coffee in a bustling café. are a community of bike sharers, connecting people who are passionate about cycling, sharing, and travelling. is a peer-to-peer social marketplace, providing a global platform for people to share and borrow bikes. 

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