Social entrepreneurs from across Britain visited Dundee to learn about groups in the city that are trying to make a difference to their communities.
The visit was organised by UnLtd, a group which supports social entrepreneurs with funding and resources and businesses with regular community events and activities.”
Kirsty Thomson, founder and CEO of The Circle, was one of five people across Scotland who received a UnLtd Grow It award last year.
She shared her story of establishing the hub for charities, social enterprises, community groups and socially aware businesses in Dundee.
“Since winning the award I’ve been working closely with UnLtd for about a year developing links with other entrepreneurs in this area who are interested in social enterprise,” Ms Thomson said.
“Social entrepreneurs from across the UK came to learn about the work we are doing at The Circle and other people doing fantastic work in Dundee.
“I explained how I got things up and running and transformed the building from being vacant into a thriving community hub with 17 tenants who are a mix of charities, social enterprises and businesses with regular community events and activities.”
Other local social entrepreneurs who presented at the event were Kirsty Slater (WEvolution), Jordan Butler (Togs), Danielle Du Plooy (Uppertunity), Gillian Easson and Claire Dufour (Creative Dundee) and Suzanne Scott (Whimsical Lush – The Discovery Walk).
The group also visited the V&A Community Garden which was developed by 20 members of the public and delivered by Gary Kennedy and Linsey McIntosh, with the support of landscape architects Macfarlane and Associates.
UnLtd’s Resilience Communities project is looking to fund and support social entrepreneurs as they grow their ventures, encourage collaboration, help them attract other investment and foster local infrastructures.
The London-based group has committed to investing £20,000 a year on social entrepreneurship schemes in the city for each of the next three years.
Ms Thomson added: “We received great feedback about the event, saying it was educational and inspiring.
“It is tremendous that UnLtd has made this funding commitment to help social entrepreneurs make a difference in the city.”