Dragon’s Den for Torbay?

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Dragon’s Den for Torbay? Everyone can be a dragon at Torbay’s first Local Entrepreneur Forum on 7th June.

Just like the popular TV programme Dragon’s Den, the Local Entrepreneur Forum (LEF) which takes place on Friday 7th June at the Lucky 7 Club in Paignton, will see a number of Torbay’s budding entrepreneurs pitch their business ideas to members of the local community, and anyone can be a friendly and supportive dragon.

Torbay’s dragons won’t just be investing money; once the entrepreneurs have outlined their socially useful business ideas, they tell the audience what they need – it might be money, but it might be expertise, time, contacts, Tweets, encouragement or some other form of support. The audience then respond with offers of investment – pledges to help out. Chris Gunson from Local Spark Torbay, the event organisers, says, “the atmosphere at these events is fantastic, as members of the community come together to help local aspiring business people – everyone wants to join in.”

But the LEF is more than just an evening of pitching and investment. It also comprises an afternoon of networking, discussions and idea-sharing with entrepreneurs, community members, non-profits and investors.Maureen McAllister, Operations Director of the Palace Theatre, Paignton is also coming to tell us how they have turned the theatre’s fortunes around. (2.00 – 5.30) Followed by a buffet meal.

Chris continues, “We are delighted to have keynote speaker Tony Greenham from the South-West Mutual Bank kick the eveningoff at 7.00 pm with a talk about the bank’s progress” On top of this, a £500 Inspire Awardfrom Transform Ageing will be presented to a budding local business.The evening starts with networking, information stalls and the bar will be open from 6.00 pm.

The first LEF took place in Totnes in 2011 and is in its eighth successful year. The model has been copied around with world with LEFs taking place in Japan and the US, as well closer to home in Brixton, Glastonbury, Hebden Bridge, and Frome this September.

More information about the Torbay LEF is available at www.localsparktorbay.org/LEF and tickets can be booked through Eventbrite at Eventbrite/LocalEntrepreneurForumTorbay, with entry on a donation basis. Alternatively ring 0750 404 2970

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(Author)

Kevin Dixon went to Audley Park – now Torquay Academy – and South Devon College when it was at Torre. After studying at Birmingham City University, he returned home because there’s nowhere else quite like Torquay. He then became involved in community and adult education, completed a PhD, and started writing about the weird and unknown side of town. He now Chairs Healthwatch Torbay and is involved in health and social care in the Bay.