The event was geared towards building resilience - through networking with successful social entrepreneurs, learning from good models of sustainable practice, and exploring how they can build resilience through facilitated workshops.
We named our Glasgow event This Must Be The Place... to depict the journey of discovery that we intended for our social entrepreneurs, and indeed it was a journey of investigation and learning as well as an opportunity to share knowledge and experience.
Our first port of call was to Project Cafe in Renfrew Street, who describe themselves as a community resource founded on good food bringing people together.
Our participants from Rothesay, Dunoon, Campbeltown and Girvan had their first opportunity to meet and exchange ideas while sampling tasty treats and hearing about the journey Project Cafe has been on in building their operation and refining their purpose. We heard about how they wanted to ensure that they are achieving social impact while building a sustainable business structure and approach.
Networking Event at citizenM
CitizenM was an ideal venue to host a networking event that gave the Vital Spark and What If participants an opportunity to meet other Firstport funded social entrepreneurs from around Scotland in a relaxed environment. New connections were made between some entrepreneurs, forging ongoing links and potential collaborations. Presentations from WEvolution and KLAS Care provided us with inspiration and motivation to fuel our forthcoming sessions on resilience.
Day two was held at the Scottish Youth Theatre venue, an ideal space to come together in groups and one to ones. The Resilience theme provided an opportunity for everyone to discuss the challenges of building a business and reflect on how resilience can be built into the process of moving forward. We invited funders from Creative Scotland, The Big Lottery Fund and Corra Foundation to take part in the day, creating a forum for participants to explore potential pathways of support. It also provided the funders with an opportunity to experience the context within which our social entrepreneurs are developing their enterprises.
Our Vital Spark partners Inspiralba and UnLtd also played an important role in the two days through their contribution to the discussions. The event provided an opportunity for them to consider the opportunities and challenges for locally based social enterprises in the growth stages as they develop their Resilience programme in Argyll & Bute over the next few years.
Want to find out more about Vital Spark and its impact over the past two years? Watch our video