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?
2018 Local Entrepreneur Forum
Community of Dragons
Thursday, May 10,
Seven Stars Hotel Ballroom, Totnes
Cost – sliding scale on the door
Remember the great Blizzards of March and how everyone in the town came together to help one another? The Community of Dragons is not so different. Every year, ordinary members of the community – people just like you and me – get together to support our friends and neighbours to start and grow enterprises that benefit our community. Come along and ‘invest’ money, expertise, neighbourliness and hugs to support your favourite local enterprise. Last year, over 60 offers of support were promised to 4 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.
Who’s pitching? Four fabulous local enterprises doing good!
ThoughtBox Education – www.thoughtboxeducation.com – ThoughtBox programmes develop critical thinking, empathy & connection, helping our children learn to make sense of the world.
Nourishing Families – nourishingfamilies.co.uk – A social enterprise in the making, Nourishing Families is dedicated to supporting parents and children get maximum benefit and enjoyment from food and meals times.
Revolutionary Women – www.revolutionary-women.org.uk – Our mission is to connect women who are looking for opportunities to change their lives, and the world around them, with women who can help them to achieve their goals.
Fieldgrassjuice – fieldgrassjuice.com – Organic fieldgrown WHEATGRASS harvested traditionally, freshly pressed and frozen. ‘Nestled on the slopes of fertile Devon, near the coast at Beeson, our WINTER WHEAT has weathered wild storms, grey blue ocean coloured clouds watering the earth seemingly endlessly…’
** An opening presentation from Councillor John Tucker, Leader of South Hams District Council
** The Totnes Pound offers it’s second annual grant of t£100 to the project that best exemplifies ‘Totnes innovation’
** Delicious New Lion Brewery ales
** Post to the ‘Needs & Offers’ wall
** more to be announced…
Contact us at email@example.com for more info.
Project Design Hackathon
Thursday April 19, 5:50pm – 9pm – done and dusted! It was a great evening.
Methodist Church Hall, Totnes
Cost – sliding scale on the door
Present your project idea to a small group of friendly faces. Teams of local designers, business heads and creative problem solvers apply their collective genius, working with you to help make it real. Maybe even get it ready to pitch to the Community of Dragons! It’s that simple.
But slots for proposed projects are limited – if you’re interested in having your project idea ‘hacked’, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
And if you’re interested in being a ‘hacker’ please come and share your experience, creative thinking, and support for some projects that could benefit the community.
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