Ardentinny Community Trust Convenor, Dennis Gower, came away a winner from the Dragons Den at the Annual Conference of Argyll and Bute Social Enterprise Network (ABSEN) in Campbeltown last week. Pitched against nine other projects, he emerged victorious with a £500 grant from Firstport for the Glenfinart Walled Garden Project in Ardentinny.
The Dragons in question were Karen Anderson, Social Firms Scotland; Brian Weaver CEO of Highlands & Islands Social Enterprize Zone (HISEZ); Gerry Higgins, Chief Executive, Community Enterprise in Scotland (CEIS); Fiona Tipping, CEO, Social Enterprise Clydebank; and Naomi Johnson, Executive Director of Firstport, who presented the award.
The conference also provided a useful networking platform and some stimulating input, not least of which was the strong message that it was ‘our time’. With the sure prospect of swingeing central and local government cuts, the main way to sustain rural communities will be through social enterprise delivery of local services with funders and local communities working together.