Friday, 5 June 2015

The Local Entrepreneur Forum

The idea of connecting entrepreneur and the local economy is gaining ground:
Local Entrepreneur Forum - Transition Town Totnes

Last month, the LEP met again in Totnes, Devon:

Local Entrepreneur Forum

Massive applause and gratitude closes the 3rd annual Local Entrepreneur Forum
Massive applause and gratitude closes the 3rd annual Local Entrepreneur Forum
The REconomy Project Local Entrepreneur Forum is a powerful catalyst for a new kind of economy in the Totnes area – vibrant, bustling, abundant. Every year for one jam-packed productive day, we bring entrepreneurs, investors, and other change makers together to learn from each other, form new relationships, and hopefully, to begin working together on new enterprises.
What kind of enterprises? Social, sustainable, regenerative, resilient – new companies that create meaningful livelihoods and contribute to the community in positive ways.
Everyone has a stake in their local economy and everyone can be an investor, too. Entrepreneurs need all kinds of support. Yes, financial capital is important, but so are other forms of support, from office space to child care. Entrepreneurs supported by the community do better. The economy does better, too. Everybody wins.
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?  Check out this blog post, "How to transform your local economy in one day"

LEF4_ad_sm** 4th annual Local Entrepreneur Forum, May 14th, 2015 **

Book now

The day is shaping up to be another fantastic experience of community, investing, learning, pitching, and connecting.
9:30am the day begins…
  • The Bank of Devon? – Tony Greenham, new economics tony_gfoundation– what would it mean to have a regional bank serving the interests of the community and how do we make it happen? An inspiring proposal.
  • oana_nCrowdfunding the Future – Oana Neumayer, BuzzBnkOur good friends BuzzBnk are hosting the crowdfunding campaign for Grown in Totnes. Oana will talk about how crowdfunding is powering the rising ‘for community benefit’ economy.
  • fiona_wREconomy all over the world – Fiona Ward, REconomy Project Many innovations start in Totnes, it seems.  Other local ‘REconomy Projects’, just like in Totnes, are popping up all over the world, from Japan to the US to Brazil to Portugal to Sweden – you get the idea.
  • Be Like a Bee – Super fun and super productive. Share needs and offers. Meet people you need to meet. Learn what you need to learn. A most important part of the day.
  • Is Alternative, Democratic, Community Finance Possible? – Organisers of TRESOCTransition Homes, and Plough & Share share their stories of challenge and success.
Local Entrepreneur Forum - Transition Town Totnes

And last week the Local Entrepreneur Forum met in Lambeth, London:

An evening at the Lambeth Local Entrepreneur Forum

Last month's Local Entrepreneur Forum in Totnes was the fourth, and it's been an amazing incubator for new enterprises while also building a community around the idea of a more resilient, local economy, and generating over £70,000 of investment into new enterprises.  But until now, it has never happened outside Totnes.  Transition Town Brixton's Lambeth Local Entrepreneur Forum was the first.  The question I travelled up with was "will the LEF approach work outside of Totnes?"  The answer I travel home with afterwards is "absolutely".  What a remarkable event. Here's my podcast about it:

The earlier part of the day had featured discussion around the question "how can we create a Community Supported Local Economy?", and by the time I arrived, supper was happening, and the beautiful Brixton East venue was full of delicious food and conversation. 

Duncan Law gets the evening under way. Credit: Jane Langley.Duncan Law gets the evening under way. Credit: Jane Langley.

Then, in a packed room, Duncan Law of TTB introduced the evening.  I then spoke about why local economies matter and how the LEF can make a big difference in unlocking the new economy.  Here's my talk:

Then we were into the pitching.  Five businesses pitched, the first was Kitchen Table Projects, a "retail incubator for artisan food producers at Old Street Station".  They offer a space for 16 emerging food brands. 

An evening at the Lambeth Local Entrepreneur Forum | Transition Network
Transition Town Brixton: Supporting transition to a sustainable Brixton

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