REconomy Centre 13 Leechwell St, Totnes TQ9 5SX, UK
Is your enterprise project ethical, sustainable, or otherwise going to benefit the community in some way? Then this might be for you.
Local Entrepreneur Workshop Intensive is designed to stimulate, inspire, and support you as you develop your business model and plan, and maybe even to help you prepare to pitch your project at the next Local Entrepreneur Forum. Like a green/ethical/social MBA in day? Not sure that’s possible, but maybe.
We’ll cover four themes:
Leadership and Organisation
Pitching Your Plan
Includes interactive discussion, handouts and ‘action learning’ assignments before the workshop, so please book early.
Coffee, tea, snacks provided. Bring your own lunch.
Booking: send email to email@example.com
Facilitator: Jay Tompt, has an MBA, and start up and consulting experience spanning over 25 years. He’s a coordinator of the Totnes REconomy Project and part time associate lecturer in economics at Plymouth University.
REconomy Centre, 13 Leechwell St, Totnes TQ9 5SX, UK (map)
This one day workshop is for anyone seeking work that is both personally fulfilling, and of value in today’s world – or to make positive changes to their current role. Everyone has unique qualities and skills to offer – even if you don’t know what they are! But in today’s highly commercialised and individualistic society, many find themselves in work that is stressful, boring, or doesn’t fit their values. Through discussion, creative activity and individual reflection, you’ll gain more clarity about how your working life could develop. You’ll create a plan (or at least first steps) to take the insights you gain back into your daily life, launching you gently towards realising your vision, whether in your present role, or something brand new.
Gill Coombs describes herself as a Thought Provoker. Author of Hearing our Calling, she brings a diverse work history; many years of coaching and group facilitation; experience as a recruiter; a relaxed, friendly, compassionate approach; and a deep commitment to the importance of finding the right work. To read more: www.gillcoombs.co.uk To book, call Gill on 07729 331676 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Join us for a fun evening, connecting, laughing, imbibing – a good ole office party. Speed dating? Yes, of course. Everyone is welcome. Bring a little something to share and your business cards. Followed by Totnes Late Night Shopping madness. Good times. 🙂
We’ll also share information about:
the April Project Design Hackathon and how to get involved
the May Community of Dragons and how you can apply to pitch
Date: Thursday 23rd November (10am-1pm) Venue: Reconomy Centre, Totnes
To book: email@example.com
Pull together an engaging ‘personal brand’ and CV to create more impact with HR, influencers and recruiters.
You may have spent countless hours editing and re-editing your CV, but how do you know if it’s still what recruiters are looking for? Are you often left frustrated and confused, curios of how the national job-boards like Monster and Reed actually work? Do you know what your personal statement should really say about you to make maximum impact? Too many skilled and gifted candidates are throwing away great opportunities for new roles-and all because they have little idea of what a compelling and engaging CV should like.
Please join coaching and recruiting professional for a 3 hour workshop where you’ll learn how to structure a compelling CV, one that truly reflects who you are, and what you have to offer, so that you can increase your chances of finding much better opportunities.
This impact report aims to understand and assess the impact of The Totnes REconomy project over the last 6 years, between 2012 to 2017. The project is located in Totnes, Devon, UK, a market town with a population of about 8,500 in the town and about 23,000 for the town and district. The report will look at the economic, social and environmental impacts of The REconomy Project, the extent to which it has achieved its aims, and share some of the lessons learned and insights for moving forward.
The Totnes REconomy Project has been running since 2011 with practical aims to develop more opportunities for young people to create livelihoods and for everyone in the community to have their needs met in ways that are ecologically sustainable or regenerative, fair and inclusive, and that contribute to the resilience of the community. The premise for activity is that if we want a new kind of local economy that can deliver on these aims, we must create the conditions for new economic actors, relationships and models to emerge and thrive. We believe we can create these conditions by focusing on four areas of activity: 1) catalysing a new entrepreneurial culture, 2) mobilising local social and financial capital, 3) building an ‘enterprising ecosystem’, 4) weaving networks of ‘new economy’ organisations and activists.
We conducted this study to try to measure our impacts in these areas. What we have found is that through our three principal projects, the Local Entrepreneur Forum, the REconomy Centre, and the Local Economic Blueprint, we have had positive results in all of these areas.
The Totnes REconomy Project has directly helped to raise over £83k of financial support from local citizens for 27 enterprises, creating 5 new full time equivalent jobs. Beneficiaries have reported that access to hundreds of thousands more financial support and creation of many more jobs have been indirect results of the Totnes REconomy Project’s activities and relationships. These local enterprises turnover about £1.3, spending over £870k on local payroll and procurement. These factors make a positive contribution to building community wealth. Furthermore, these firms also pursue social and environmental aims which also contribute positively to an inclusive, fair, sustainable and resilient local economy.
The Totnes REconomy Project is catalysing the emergence of a community supported entrepreneurial culture and ecosystem. Since 2012, there have been over 720 participants in the LEF and over 100 members of the REconomy Centre; 27 enterprises have pitched for support – many now support and collaborate with each other. After 6 LEF events, 170 people have played the role of investor, including 24 from these pitching enterprises. Over 150 enterprise workshop participants and hundreds of hours of volunteer support have been logged at the REconomy Centre. Trends are positive for increasing numbers of ‘investors’ and enterprises applying to pitch. These indicators all point toward a normalising of these activities in local community life.
The LEF and REconomy Centre have become important institutions in the local enterprise ecosystem, offering clear and accessible pathways for entrepreneurs to start new enterprises, or existing enterprises to access support or expansion capital. As a result of their positive impacts, new and/or more impactful roles for local political actors, schools, landowners, and NGOs in this ecosystem have been enabled. This brings to life a ‘community supported entrepreneurism’, a kind of community enterprise incubation system.
In short, the impacts of the Totnes REconomy Project, through its principal projects, have been positive and increasing. The study, below, brings to light more detail and context, allowing the reader to gain a more in-depth understanding of how and why these projects are working, as well as their limitations. The study creates a foundation for understanding the opportunities for improving the effectiveness of these projects, as well as the potential for new projects and programmes.
If you’re involved in the ‘new economy’ movement, grass roots organising, or would like to be, you’re probably aware of many of the tools of the trade and various economic models that aim to shift the balance of power away from destructive corporates and toward healthier, regenerative local and regional economies.
Now, our good friends at Stir Magazine, have just published 15 mini toolkits to help you undertake new projects, build capacity for you and your colleagues, and be part of spreading the innovations that work. Interested in running your own Local Entrepreneur Forum or Local Economic Blueprint? How about starting a multi-stakeholder coop? Or how about some guidance on how to run open space events? It’s all here.
How do you get an enterprise up and running, and headed toward a model of financial health and development? Vision, resources, and a useful plan. In this workshop, we’ll help you get started and, if you’ve already started, troubleshoot areas that are vexing. We’ll cover the key sections of the basic business plan, analyze business models, share tips and tricks, and offer feedback on your project.
May 25 2:30pm-5:00pm
Booking: send email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Led by Jay Tompt, is a coordinator of the Totnes REconomy Project, a social enterprise consultant, and activist. Since 2011, the Totnes REconomy Project has launched innovative economic regeneration and resilience building projects, such as the Local Entrepreneur Forum and the REconomy Centre. He has been leading workshops and giving talks about this work and on community-led economics, across Europe and Japan.
Prior to moving to the UK from San Francisco, Jay spent 10 years as entrepreneur and consultant in the ‘green business movement’, after a 12-year career in Silicon Valley. Jay holds an MBA from the Monterey Institute of International Studies and a BA in Philosophy from San Jose State University.
Community gathers to invest in local enterprises in party atmosphere
If you have watched the Dragons’ Den on TV, you may have already figured out the twist behind the May 11th Community of Dragons event in Totnes – everyone’s an investor. For the past six years, the people of Totnes and District have come
together to help local entrepreneurs lift off, or a young business grow, with financial and non-financial investments of thousands of Pounds Sterling, offers of business advice – and even child minding and home-cooked meals.
This year’s event is at the Royal Seven Stars Hotel Ballroom and will be co-hosted by Katie ‘Mama’ Tokus, singer of sassy, self-penned blues and soul songs, and a spoken word performer. The evening promises to be fun, lively and productive.
Five local projects will be pitching for funds, advice, and help of all kinds to get their businesses to the next level: food growers the Apricot Centre, at Huxhams Cross Biodynamic Farm, led by Bob Mehew; Potting Shed
Jay Jacoby of Yew Media, a bespoke biographical and personal legacy film company, says, “I’m SO grateful, excited, honoured, scared and happy!!! Thank you for this opportunity! I can’t wait to ‘get stuck in’!” Bob Mehew says, “We at The Apricot Centre are delighted to be presenting to the Community of Dragons this year. With public help we can invest in and share our tractor and other machinery to enable us and other small scale land-workers to improve their efficiency and go further.” Emily Reed of Black Bee Combe says, “We seek to demonstrate ethical beekeeping, by using hives which support honeybees natural preferences,
practicing minimal intervention beekeeping and reestablishing a locally adapted strain of the nationally threatened native honeybee. I hope the Dragons can help us develop new income streams to support the project.”
“The way it works is that everyone can participate and be a ‘dragon’, just like in the ‘Dragon’s Den’ TV show, except we’re all friendly dragons,” says Jay Tompt, coordinator of the Totnes REconomy Project, one of the co-organisers of the event. “We can support our local entrepreneurs with money or time or skills or experience or neighbourly encouragement. Past investments have included hugs and home-cooked meals, for example.”
The 2017 Community of Dragons has been timed to take place during Global Divestment Week (May 5th-13th), when campaigning groups synchronised by climate safety charity 350.org will be persuading individuals and institutions all over the world to move their money out of climate damaging fossil fuel investments. But moving one’s money is only the first step; the Community of Dragons creates investment opportunities, the second and key part of Divest/Invest. Here is where people can move their money closer to home and put it to work creating a vibrant, healthy economy that can grow for the benefit of everyone, providing opportunities for young people and new life for the Devon economy.
The event has supported a wide range of businesses in the last six years. Last year, Ambios Ltd – an educational farm project – and local caterer The Kitchen Table pitched, alongside theatre designer Iola and horse trainer Horse & Heart. In prior years, enterprises have included the food processor Grown in Totnes, New Lion Brewery, GroCycle mushroom farm, and Argand Solutions, a technology company. Last Saturday, April 29th, saw The Kitchen Table providing local-grain-based catering for Grown In Totnes’ processing unit launch on the Totnes Industrial Estate. Both these enterprises are dedicated to promoting local food, and such mutual support is what the Community of Dragons is all about.
“I never thought I could be an investor but always wanted to support the kinds of businesses I’d really like to have in my community,” says 2016 participant Jane Brady. “It felt so good when I ‘invested’ in Ambios last year with my promise to take part in their ‘share in a sheep’ scheme. It was the most delicious investment I’ve ever made in my life!”
John Elford of the Totnes Pound says, “We will be be making the annual Totnes Pound award of t£100 to the enterprise project that best embodies the spirit of Totnes innovation, and t£21 to all the other pitchers.” In every community there are people with experience in business, people with a little bit of money in the bank, and people who value the neighbourliness in the places they live. The idea behind the Community of Dragons and other ‘reconomy’ projects is that when local people come together like this, a vibrant, healthy economy can grow, providing opportunities for young people and new life for our High Streets.
Everyone is warmly invited to join the fun at the Community of Dragon’s event, May 11th, Royal Seven Stars Ballroom, Totnes – networking starts at 6pm, programme at 7pm. Further information are available on the REconomy Centre website at www.bit.ly/lef2017
This year, we tried something new. Isn’t that the point?
If we know that the current economic system isn’t working for most of us, that it concentrates economic and political power into fewer and fewer hands, that it leads us to consume greater quantities of crappy stuff made in far off lands, that it’s putting too much pollution into the air and oceans, cutting down too many trees, and more – then we know we must try something else that doesn’t do those things. This means supporting local enterprises and local innovations.
So, we tried something new on April 8th, a hack-a-thon designed to help take forward 5 local projects that would, in some measure, provide better alternatives to what’s currently on offer. With the help of energetic Schumacher students, Pricilla and David, we borrowed ideas from innovation design firm IDEO and others and put together an action-packed day of tools, activities, storytelling and models. Lots of models. Some things worked. Some things didn’t work. Failure is part of the process. Our hack-a-thon was a huge success in teaching us how we might continue to be a catalyst for a new kind of entrepreneurial culture, the kind where solutions to our challenges and alternatives to destructive business-as-usual models can emerge, take root, and thrive. We might have helped these projects along, too.
A huge thanks to Claire, Inez, Bridgette, Ben and Mat for bringing forward their projects to be hacked. And to all our hackers, about 25 local designers, consultants, old business hands, and enthusiastic new enterprise supporters.
This event was part one of our 2017 Local Entrepreneur Forum. Part two is the Community of Dragons on May 11 at the Royal Seven Stars Hotel, networking at 6pm, presentations at 7pm. More info, here: bit.ly/lef2017