Four innovative enterprises went head-to-head in a ‘Dragon’s Den’ style pitch for help at the recent Local Entrepreneur Forum (LEF).
Edgy Veggie Kitchen, The Fresh Flour Company, Resilient Lives and the Totnes Bike Hub all pitched their ideas and the audience – aka community of dragons – for a range of things from finance, resources, and marketing skills.
The annual event held at the Dartington-based New Lion Brewery formed part of the LEF’s 10th birthday celebrations and is designed to give kickstart new businesses and give a leg up to more established ones with expansion plans for the benefit of the community.
Each of the four businesses walked away with more than they had bargained for, said organiser Jay Tompt.
Jay, a regenerative economics lecturer at Schumacher College, said: “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.
“The pledges are being counted and a full picture of what each project has received will soon become clear and their future success secured for as long as the community that they serve is behind them.”
Run by the Reconomy Project, the LEF aims to bring entrepreneurs, investors, change-makers and those with just a seed of an idea together each year to share knowledge and skills, make new friends, customers or contacts and encourage enterprising collaborations.
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