The owner of a business set up to boost the health of company workforces has been given the chance of mentoring from top business guru Deborah Meaden.

Wayne Campbell, managing director of Banbury-based Healthy Performance, has been chosen as the entrepreneur to go forward from Oxfordshire into the regional finals of the Business Accelerators competition next month.

The contest, which ran in the Oxford Mail, was aimed at finding the most promising small businesses in the county.

Healthy Performance was one of three winners and has been chosen by a panel of experts to go forward against scores of other businesses from across the Midlands in a bid to reach the national finals and the chance of a year’s free mentoring and support from former Dragons’ Den panellist Ms Meaden as well as a free advertising campaign.

Mr Campbell said: “I am absolutely delighted — when I entered the competition I never expected to win let alone go further.”

Already Mr Campbell is enjoying the benefits of being an Oxfordshire winner having landed a three month advertising campaign worth £4,500 in Newsquest Oxfordshire titles, publishers of the Oxford Mail, along with mentoring from Brendon Cross, managing director of Witney-based telecommunications firm STL Communications.

Mr Cross said: “I have been really impressed with Wayne – he really is together and is managing to grow his business without any debt/overdraft.

“Healthy Performance has the potential for strong growth on a nationwide basis and in a sector that Ms Meaden knows about.”

The company was in the news earlier this week as it supplied the monitors fitted to Oxford United chairman Kelvin Thomas and manager Chris Wilder to monitor their heart rates during the U’s match against Macclesfield.

Mr Campbell added: “The whole experience has been really positive.”

Meanwhile, the other winners are continuing to reap the benefits of the Business Accelerators competition.

Stephen Dunne, director of Headington-based building and renovation firm Savvy, said: “It has been really good for our confidence and we still see people coming up to congratulate us on being winners.

“We have also picked up work on the back of it. Raising awareness of who we are and what we are about is really important and this has been really helpful.”

And Amee <<ok>>Thomas, joint owner of Oxford milkshake bar Shakespeare’s, who is being mentored by Mike Jennings, owner of Jennings business parks, added: “People are coming in for coffee now saying they want to support a local business rather than a national chain.

“We are just about to start our advertising campaign and the mentoring has been brilliant.

“It is like therapy. Sometimes you have stresses and worries running a business but Mike really understands and helps.”