Social Entrepreneurs event (UK)
By Ben Brangwyn 27th February 2012
Social and Sustainable Entrepreneurs to Gather in Totnes for REconomy Project Local Entrepreneur Forum
Totnes has a lot of transition-y things going on, and one of the most interesting involves looking at what kind of economic fabric we’ll need to create to establish a range of local employers that can be successful through volatile times ahead.
Here’s the latest news of an event that I think it would be worth other initiatives keeping an eye on.
The REconomy Project: Local Entrepreneur Forum, taking place on March 21st from 8:30am-4pm at the Civic Hall, will bring local social/sustainable entrepreneurs, investors, and experts together for an all-day event that will include learning, networking, and deal-making. Speakers for the event include Jonathan Dawson, Head of Economics atSchumacherCollege and Jason Mollring, Head of Connect at UnLtd. Connect, a social enterprise think and do tank, based inLondon.
“We fully expect that several new enterprises will launch as a direct result of connections made at this event,” said Frances Northrop, TTT’s Transition in Action Manager. “We’ve designed it to give local entrepreneurs the chance to meet investors and industry experts – and vice versa. It’s up to them to seize the opportunities.”
Starting a new business inSouth Devonis challenging due to lack of available resources, such as access to start-up expertise, angel investors, and inexpensive office space. By bringing experts and investors into the same room as entrepreneurs, organisers of the event hope to begin to overcome these challenges. The Local Entrepreneur Forum is modelled on similar events that have proved to be effective in places likeLondonandSilicon Valley.
The event will also include Lucy Siegle, Guardian columnist and One Show presenter, who will also host a Green Dragons’ Den, where 5 of the best new business ideas in Totnes and District will try to impress the dragons. Entrepreneurs at any stage of development are encouraged to apply.
The event will also mark the launch of a new enterprise incubator which will offer a suite of services designed to support entrepreneurs and launch new businesses, including business plan coaching, mentoring, a youth program, and investor matching.
The REconomy Project: Local Entrepreneur Forum is hosted by Transition Town Totnes, but one of the aims of this project is to document it and make it easily replicable for other communities around the country. Helping to launch and nurture new social and sustainable enterprises is an important path toward developing community resilience and sustainability. Other projects include the Totnes Economic Blueprint, REconomy Project Enterprise Centre, and Food Link. For more information, visit www.transtitiontowntotnes.org or contact Frances Northrop at Frances@transitiontowntotnes.org.
This event will get extensively written up so that other initiatives can modify and replicate it, so keep an eye on the TTT website.