Our work

Chris Gunson

co-founder and director

Chris has set up and run various successful social enterprises over her career. She set up a Local Exchange Trading Scheme (LETS) in Bracknell, Berkshire; co-owned and ran an organic food retail shop for 6 years; and helped establish community-owned Co-op including village shop and Post Office. Chris has also served as a Business Support Adviser helping women in remote rural areas develop small businesses. She’s alos a mentor to the Manager of Hele’s Angels project in Torquay and has been a Prince’s Trust Business Mentor, 2014-2018. Before that, she spent 15 years as a human resources professional in high tech companies. And she has worked with Local Authorities on Local Agenda 21.

Jay Tompt

co-founder and director

Jay brings a wealth of experience in entrepreneurship, sustainability, and local economic development. He’s also a co-founding member of the Totnes REconomy Project
and sssociate lecturer in economics at Plymouth University. He also co-developed the REconomy Project’s Local Economic Blueprint course and handbook.

Has led workshops and given talks in Europe, USA and Japan, spent 10 years as entrepreneur and consultant in the ‘green business movement’ in San Francisco, and before that 12 years in Silicon Valley.

Andrew Tapson


A highly experienced Finance Director, Board member and NED, Andrew works with start-ups, SMEs and third sector organisations, building resilience into their operations and helping them make the most of the twin resources of time and money, so they can better realise their aspirations.

With an international corporate career spanning 30 years, he specialises in business strategy and planning, finance/fundraising, cash flow management, designing and helping implement effective operational systems and processes, stakeholder communications and exit planning.

Andrew’s approach focuses on building great relationships that ensure finance and management integrate fully with, and enhance all other areas of, an organisation.

Andrew Shadrake


Andrew specialises in local economic regeneration through community wealth-building, creating local social enterprises and developing climate emergency action plans. A former solicitor, he advises on legal forms for social enterprises, as well as strategic and business planning. He is a licensed community shares practitioner, allowing him to award the Community Shares Standard Mark. He is also a Hive co-operative support provider.

Andrew is committed to helping communities and councils achieve net zero carbon emissions rapidly. He is an active member of ACTion on Climate in Teignbridge, a community-led CIC which supports Teignbridge District Council, town and parish councils, community groups and residents to make the district carbon neutral, sustainable, resilient and healthy. He co-develops procurement initiatives which support local and net zero carbon purchasing.

Sue Carr


Sue has been self-employed for many years and has experienced the inevitable highs and lows. Her first adventure was in manufacturing bottle cap linings! She has been a pub licensee and helped to run a successful music festival. Her favourite venture was to start up and run her own craft shop – a dream come true. Sue has kept her own books and worked as a book-keeper for other businesses. Sue will be keeping the books for Local Spark and is keen to help other social entrepreneurs.

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