Now in it’s 8th year in Totnes, the Local Entrepreneur Forum is a powerful catalyst for a vibrant, bustling, and abundant new economy in the Totnes area. Every year, we bring entrepreneurs, investors, and other change makers together to learn from each other, form new relationships, and begin enterprising collaborations. Social, sustainable, regenerative, resilient, innovative – new enterprises creating meaningful livelihoods and contributing to the community in positive ways. This is the beating heart of what we call ‘community supported entrepreneurism’.
Everyone has a stake in their local economy and everyone can be an investor, too. Entrepreneurs need all kinds of support. Financial capital is important, but so are other forms of support, from expert mentoring to child care. Entrepreneurs supported by the community do better. The economy does better, too. It’s part of what make this place a nice place to live and raise a family.
What’s up for this year’s Local Entrepreneur Forum? We’re busily hatching plans. If you’d like to get involved in helping to organise this year’s activities, please get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org
2019 Local Entrepreneur Forum
Community of Dragons
Thursday, May 16,
Seven Stars Hotel Ballroom, Totnes
Cost – sliding scale on the door
What happens when members of the community come together to support the local entrepreneurs and enterprises that contribute to a better quality of life in the town? Well, lots of good feelings, for a start. ‘There was lots of love in the room’, is a common refrain after event. What also happens is genuine, tangible support for people helping to make our local economy more inclusive, ecologically sustainable and resilient. Every year, ordinary members of the community – people just like you and me – become green and friendly dragons. Come along and ‘invest’ money, expertise, neighbourliness and hugs to support your favourite local enterprise. Last year, over over 100 offers of support were promised to 4 women-led enterprises. This year…?
There will be lots of productive networking, too, so local enterprisers, consultants, experts, investors – don’t miss this opportunity to get to know one another in a relaxed and fun atmosphere.
Are you interested in pitching this year? Or know someone who is? Have a look at the criteria, below and please get in touch: email@example.com
Pitching to the Community of Dragons – Criteria
Each year, we have slots for 4 or 5 entrepreneurs to pitch their projects to the Community of Dragons. This is a great opportunity to raise the profile of your venture, as well as to gain financial and or/non-financial investment and support. Our criteria for choosing which ventures pitch:
- enterprise is ethical, sustainable and appropriately local
- demonstrates competence through business plan and/or track record
- business model does not rely on donations or grant funding
- ‘investment’ required would allow venture to ‘get to the next level’ – investment could be financial and/or non-financial.
- ideally would operate in one or more of the sectors identified in the Local Economic Blueprint – food, renewable energy, housing, health & care
- contributes to the long-term resilience of the community
- one slot is reserved for a youth-led enterprise.
Whether projects get to pitch or don’t, the LEF is designed so that everyone benefits.
LEF in depth
Want a more in-depth view on the Local Entrepreneur Forum, where it came from, and how it fits into the broader strategy behind the Totnes REconomy Project? Read our new Totnes REconomy Project Impact Report. And check out these blog posts: “The LEF – REconomy’s Killer App?”; “How to transform your local economy in one day”; “A Taste of the Future in the Community of Dragons”.
And check out this short film about the LEF in 2014, from Emilio Mula and Nu-Project – https://youtu.be/EnDiDxYFRX
You can also download the full 32-page 2017 Impact Report detailing some of the outcomes from the LEF, REconomy Centre and Local Economic Blueprint projects:
Rob Hopkins calls it one of the ten innovations coming out the Transition Movement that could begin to turn the crisis around. Ways With Words, July 13, 2013
What attendees have been saying:
“people lead such atomised lives. It’s a wonderful way of bringing people together.”
“Its not just about money. you get a double return from investing in our community”
“small acorns…you never know where things are going to lead”
“we are all investors”
What past pitchers have said about the experience (video):
- Holly Tiffen, Grown in Totnes
- Zav Bowden, Dart Valley Timber
- Doug King-Smith, HillyField CIC
- Fraser Durham, Argand Solutions
- Adam Sayner and Eric Jong, GroCycle
- Rob Hopkins, New Lion Brewery
- Mark Burton, Plough & Share Credit Union
- Chris Bird, Transition Homes
- Laura Creen, School Farm CSA