Latest News & Posts

2018 Community of Dragons May 10th!

This is the 7th year of the Local Entrepreneur Forum, where members of the community come together to connect, support local entrepreneurs and raise up enterprises that are doing good.  It’s like a barn raising. It’s like how during the March blizzard, people delighted in the snow and looked out for one another, helping neighbours, helping strangers.  We’re all in this together.

This year’s Community of Dragons is Thursday, May 10th, at the Royal Seven Stars Hotel Ballroom. Bar opens at 6pm and programme starts at 7pm.  We’ll have the Leader of South Hams District Council, John Tucker, offering some remarks to get things started. Yes – Cllr Tucker has been a keen supporter of the REconomy Centre and this project and we’re delighted he’s supporting the Community of Dragons.

But of course, it’s all about the pitchers and this year we have four amazing enterprises:

Rachel Musson

ThoughtBox Educationwww.thoughtboxeducation.com –  ThoughtBox programmes develop critical thinking, empathy & connection, helping our children learn to make sense of the world.

 

Anna Thomson

Nourishing Familiesnourishingfamilies.weebly.com – 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.

 

Rebecca Cheshire

Revolutionary Womenwww.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.

 

Yvonne Scepanik

Fieldgrassjuicefieldgrassjuice.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…’

 

Everyone is invited and everyone can play the role of ‘dragon’ for the evening.  Investments include offers of help, support, money, hugs – it’s all good!  These enterprises will be lifted up by whatever we can ‘invest’. Come along – it’s fun and fulfilling. And help spread the word!

 

 

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Project Design Hackathon

Methodist Church Hall, Totnes
April 19th 5:30pm – 9:30 pm
Cost – sliding scale at 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 reconomycentre@gmail.com

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.

Here’s a short video of last year’s Hackathon: https://youtu.be/W8kZ3uhzvVk

This is part of the 7th Local Entrepreneur Forum programme for 2018.  See you, soon!

‘Local Entrepreneur’ Intensive Workshop

9:30am – 4:30pm, Saturday, March 17

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
  • Innovation
  • Business Models
  • 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.

Cost: £20
Booking:  send email to reconomycentre@gmail.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.

Workshop – Finding the Right Work

Sat, March 3, 10am – 4pm
REconomy Centre, 13 Leechwell St, Totnes TQ9 5SX, UK (map)
Gill Coombs

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 gillcoombs@gillcoombs.co.uk

REconomy Centre Festive Season Party

Tuesday, Dec 12, 5pm-7pm
REconomy Centre

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
  • upcoming workshops
  • co-working at the REconomy Centre

Workshop – Pull together an engaging ‘personal brand’ and CV

Date: Thursday 23rd November (10am-1pm)
Venue: Reconomy Centre, Totnes
To book: wmurtha2@gmail.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.

“Go to my latest article on LinkedIn…Getting CV savvy www.linkedin.com/in/william-murtha

Booking is essential – email wmurtha2@gmail.com for details.

Totnes REconomy Impact Report 2012-2017

Download the full 32-page report:
http://bit.ly/TRP_Impact_Report_2017

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.

Download the full 32-page report:
http://bit.ly/TRP_Impact_Report_2017

A whole box of tool kits

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.

How-to-set-up-a-Local-Entrepreneurs-Forum---Stir-to-ActionNow, 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.

 

 

 

Community of Dragons – Rob’s Podcast

Our Community of Dragons event last week, part of our 6th annual Local Entrepreneur Forum, was a huge love fest.  We’re still glowing and still counting up all the offers for Bob and Huxhams Cross Biodynamic Farm, Richenda and Studio 45 Creative Potter Hub, Jay Jacoby and Yew Media, Emily and Black Bee Combe, and Al and The Woodland Presents.  We’ll have a follow up report, soon.

In the meantime, Rob Hopkins has put together a nice blog post and podcast, here.  Take a look and have a listen – https://www.robhopkins.net/2017/05/15/places-of-possibility-1-the-totnes-local-entrepreneur-forum/

 

Business Planning Workshop

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.

REconomy Centre
May 25 2:30pm-5:00pm
Cost: £10
Booking:  send email to jay@transitiontowntotnes.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.