Ten Argyll social entrepreneurs win awards totalling £33,897

Ten social entrepreneurs from Argyll have been awarded a total of £33,897 to develop and grow their business ideas. 

The funding is part of a package of support from Vital Spark, a programme that we deliver with support from UnLtd Scotland working with people in Dunoon, Rothesay and Campbeltown to start new social enterprises.

The entrepreneurs in Campbeltown are:

  • Gordon Allen, who received £4,000 for his enterprise Wee Toon Environmental Services that offers services such as garden maintenance and landscaping while providing work placements and training for unemployed people
  • Chris Annetts who received £4,200 to develop Kyt Cat, a youth theatre.
  • David Fee, who received £3,450 for his enterprise Homesong, a network of hosts and performers in rural areas.
  • Pamela Galbraith, who received £4,250 to develop Kintyre Cultural Connections, that will rejuvenate the ceilidh and heritage culture by starting international exchanges of music, storytelling and food. 

The entrepreneurs in Rothesay include:

  • Reece McNeil and Demi Kemp, who received £500 to test their idea for a youth centre called The Hangout
  • Lorna Williams, who received £4,011 for her enterprise Tabula Rasa Bute, which uses reclaimed wood and materials saved from landfill to create new pieces of furniture.
  • Gillie Banks, who received £3,315 for her enterprise Dabbles, which aims to keep the Scottish traditions of spinning, dying, and weaving alive through education and demonstration. 
  • Alison Clark, who received £3,421 to develop Triple Aspect Theatre Company, a puppet theatre.

The two entrepreneurs who were awardeed in Dunoon are:

  • Craig Peden, who received £4,070 to develop an enterprise which re-engineers and upcycles disability vehicles and accessories.
  • Duncan MacGillivary, who received £2,680 for his enterprise Inspired by Autism, which supports families living with Autistic Spectrum Disorder.

Duncan says:

I am delighted with my award. I plan to use it to further establish Inspired by Autism by getting a legal structure in place. I also hope to purchase a projector for training presentations, develop a website and professional marketing for my social enterprise.

In addition to financial support, the Vital Spark programme offers participants access to business support, mentoring from industry experts and free workspace in one of the local hubs.

Karen McGregor, Chief Executive of Firstport says:

We welcome the support from UnLtd Scotland and it’s great to see many Vital Spark participants receive the funding to help them on their journey. These seed funds will give them a well deserved confidence boost and will allow them to really test, refine and develop their businesses so they become sustainable enterprises.

The Vital Spark programme is showing the positive role that social enterprises plays in the regeneration of our towns and villages. The participants are working at the heart of their communities, running businesses that address the issues the area faces whilst boosting the local economy by generating revenue streams, jobs and skills. Some of the ideas have the potential to expand across Scotland and we are excited to support the participants as they take their businesses to the next level.