Rural Growth Network launches pilot scheme to support budding entrepreneurs in Devon’s rural schools and communities

16 Jan 2014

The Rural Growth Network (RGN) is launching its latest initiative, the ‘RGN Community & Schools Entrepreneurship Pilot scheme’, this week.

The project aims to; encourage innovation and entrepreneurship in the wider rural community, establish a programme that promotes entrepreneurship within the schools, linking primary, secondary and tertiary phases and encourage a whole community approach to the development of innovative and sustainable businesses.

Taking place in five rural locations (Broadclyst / Clyst Vale Community College, Exmouth / Exmouth Community College, Holsworthy / Holsworthy Community College, Totnes / King Edward VI Community College (KEVICC), and Okehampton / Okehampton Community College), the pilot will include a series of workshops, mentoring sessions, information events, and enterprise challenges, focusing separately on local schools as well as members of the local community.

The pilot, initiated by the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership, and funded through the Rural Growth Network (RGN) and Devon County Council, is being delivered by Devon and Cornwall Business Council, in association with a number of partner organisations: Education Business Partnership SW, Careers SW, Optimise4 and The Fruit Tree for Business.

Chris Garcia, Chief Executive of the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership said: “We are really pleased that this latest initiative under RGN, the ‘Community & Schools Entrepreneurship Pilot’ is launching – it is set to make a real difference to rural communities.  The Rural Growth Network is designed to realise the potential of enterprises and encourage the growth of new rural businesses.”

Andrew Leadbetter, Cabinet Member for Economy and Growth at Devon County Council said: “This is really good news for Devon and I am sure it will make a real difference in these rural communities! Anything that can be done to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship has to be an excellent use of resources and will stimulate growth and allow people to remain where they were brought up, and develop their own income streams thus putting money back into the local economy and ultimately providing  further jobs. I look forward to seeing the results!”

The overall vision for the Heart of the South West (HOTSW) Rural Growth Network (RGN) is to create a sustainable rural economy through developing a network of rural enterprise hubs which act as a focal point for support to the micro and small business sector. The purpose of this pilot scheme is to develop a mechanism to raise awareness of entrepreneurialism amongst Devon’s young people and communities, thereby creating a potential pipeline of future users for the RGN hubs.

The pilot will run until October 2014 and enquiries about this scheme should be made to Karen Woodward (DCBC Project Manager)  on  or 07583 739815.

More details are available on the DCBC website:


Launch events, giving a detailed breakdown of the pilot scheme will be taking place in each of the pilot locations:


Date, time, venue

Broadclyst / Clyst Vale Community College


10/02/14, 4pm-5.30pm and 5.30pm-7pm, Clyst Vale Community College Post 16 Block

Exmouth / Exmouth Community College

11/02/14, 4pm-5.30pm and 5.30pm-7pm,

Exmouth College, Gypsy Lane site, Judith Telfer building

Holsworthy / Holsworthy Community College

13/02/14, 4pm-5.30pm and 5.30pm-7pm,

Holsworthy Community College, the Purple Circle theatre

Totnes / King Edward VI Community College (KEVICC)


12/02/14, 4pm-5.30pm and 5.30pm-7pm,

KEVICC Ariel Centre

Okehampton / Okehampton Community College


13/02/14, 4pm-5.30pm and 5.30pm-7pm,

The Pavillion in the Park (nr. Okehampton College)


 While for anyone from the local community, interested specifically in taking part in the ‘Community Entrepreneurship Workshops’, a separate series of launch events are planned for:



Date, time, venue


13/03/14, 6pm - 8pm, Victory Hall, Broadclyst


10/03/14, 6pm - 8pm

Exmouth Town Council Civic Hall


19/03/14, 6pm - 8pm, Holsworthy Memorial Hall Manor Suite


11/03/14, 6pm - 8pm

Totnes Town Council Civic Hall


20/03/14, 6pm - 8pm

The Pavilion in the Park, nr Okehampton College


Website designedcosmic ethical i.t.
and developed by

© Devon & Cornwall Business Council