Local Entrepreneur Forum

'Community of Dragons' supporting local enterprise

What’s the LEF?

Imagine a bigger, more inclusive, community-driven version of Dragon’s Den:
meeting who you need to meet. 
Three or four local entrepreneurs or growing businesses which meet important criteria, pitch to an audience made up of members of the local community – who become the Community of Dragons.  The Dragons respond with offers of investment – investments of time, business experience, skills, introductions to networks, tweets, baked cakes, lunches and sometimes, money.


Do you want to pitch or could you be a friendly dragon in Torbay?

The 2019 inaugural event at the Lucky 7 Club was spectacular. Pitching and receiving buckets of support were Pankind, Mindmaps Wellbeing, and Gaia Coffee.

Our second event in 2022 was also spectacular. Check out the video. It was at Stage Left and was full of inspiration, participation and generosity. Pitching were Sound Communities, Ascend.SW, Cycle Torbay, and Horses for Forces. Want to get involved in co-organising our next one later this year? Interested in pitching? Get in touch!

** Want to pitch? Please read the criteria below, then get in touch – jay@localsparktorbay.org **

Pitching to the Community of Dragons – Criteria

Each year, we have slots for 3 or 4 entrepreneurs to pitch their projects to the Community of Dragons. This is a great opportunity to raise the profile of your enterprise project, as well as to gain financial and or/non-financial investment and support. Our criteria for choosing which ventures pitch:

  • enterprise is ethical, sustainable and appropriately local
  • demonstrates competence through business plan and/or track record
  • business model does not rely on donations or grant funding
  • ‘investment’ required would allow venture to ‘get to the next level’ – investment could be financial and/or non-financial.
  • contributes to the long-term resilience of the community
  • one slot is reserved for a youth-led enterprise.

Whether projects get to pitch or don’t, the LEF is designed so that everyone benefits.


It’s been working in Totnes, South Devon for the last 8 years, helping to launch and grow a number of wonderful local businesses.

It’s worked in places like Brixton, London, where it led to the creation of a local bank.

It’s also been working in Isumi Japan, Decorah, Iowa, in Frome, Somerset and in Hebdon Bridge, Yorkshire.


And now, it’s working in  Torbay…

Community of Dragons…