Oldham Business Awards celebrates generous support of the next generation

It was a joint celebration for Oasis Community Learning at this year’s Oldham Business Awards as two members of the Oasis family picked up major prizes.

The Oldham Business Awards celebrates the successes of the town’s business community, whether it be for innovation, inspirational leadership, community support entrepreneurism or good practice in people management.  The thread that runs throughout is a desire to recognise the contribution that businesses make in helping shape the fabric of Oldham’s society. 

Craig Dean, Chief Executive of Web Applications UK and President of Oldham’s Chamber of Commerce, was awarded the ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ at just 41 for his services and contribution to the Oldham business community, and his wider work in education and overseas. 

Oasis is honoured that Craig is a generous benefactor to Oasis Community Learning and our students, serving on Oasis’s National Board, and is also Academy Council Chair of both Oasis Academy Limeside and Oasis Academy Oldham.

Earlier in the evening Oasis Academy Oldham alumni, Eric Bishyika, was named Young Entrepreneur of the Year for his thriving clothing brand Bishyika.  When a student at the Academy, Eric met with Craig as a mentoring project to encourage the next generation of entrepreneurs.  Eric now shares Craig’s passion in helping other young people to do the same.

“That the Oldham Business Community honoured me, in this way, highlighting the value of ethics over profit, of caring for our community over self-interest,” said Craig during his acceptance speech.   

“Measuring me against the success I've nurtured in others rather than looking at the wealth I've accumulated for myself, and saying that's what business is really about, proves that, when done right, business can be about making a positive difference to the world around us.”

“I'm determined to prove that winning with integrity is not only possible, but is the only way to truly succeed.  I don't believe this award is for me, I believe it's for all the people who feel, like I do, that business is about changing our communities for the better. Business shouldn't be about individuals, a Company is a collection of companions, and this achievement is ours.”

John Murphy, CEO of Oasis Community Learning, said “Oasis is extremely fortunate to have Craig on our OCL National Board and leading two of our Academy Councils in Oldham.  He is an inspiration to our students, and his aspiration for all of our young people is clear to see.”

“He thoroughly deserves this recognition and it is a wonderful coincidence that on the same evening Eric, one of those students that Craig has supported, also received the Young Entrepreneur of the Year award.

“Oasis Community Learning exists to provide our students with the opportunities that they need to realise their full potential, and Craig and Eric are embodiments of that vision.”