What if... Girvan

What if…Girvan is a three-year programme that has inspired the local community to think about making a positive change in the area and helped to make that change happen.


Over the 3 years, Firstport has worked with 30 individuals who had innovative ideas to make a change in Girvan and South Carrick. The programme provided business support, one to one advice, workshops, leadership skills, and funding, as well as a co-working space in the Townhouse, to help those ideas develop.

What if…Girvan works with enterprises that are at various stages of development, from thinking about feasibility, testing ideas, and trading. Some great examples are Home Cook School, Girvan Community Market, Biosphere Bikes and Carrick Sports – all available to read in our case study section.

Alongside business support What if…Girvan has engaged with the wider community through drop-in sessions, community groups, community events and themed discussions on the idea of social enterprise as a mechanism for change.

As part of our work, a Community Leadership Academy was designed and run in partnership with Columba 1400. This was focused on re-invigorating local pride and instilling an environment where people could try things out, and develop confidence and leadership skills, as well as opening up conversations and opportunities.

What's happening now: 

The What if…Girvan programme is now coming to the end of its three-year course and the role of the programme manager will cease. However, although it is no longer accepting new applications, individuals with ideas are encouraged to get in touch with Firstport to make the most of our support and funding available through the Social Entrepreneurs Fund.

Firstport will also continue to support the social entrepreneurs through one to one advice, as well as access to the What if… hub, until March 2020. We have also planned a programme of workshops and events for both participants and the wider community starting as soon as the 20th February with our Intro- What is Social Enterprise workshop, and our Here’s Something good event, which will showcase the progress of participants as well as act as an opportunity to meet further organisations and funders. Our Here's Something Good event will be taking place on the 21st March at The Quay Zone. Registration opening soon. 

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