£5000 seed funding and a new look for Girvan Community Market

Girvan Community Market, run by Pearl McGibbon, has re-launched for 2018 with a new name, branding and seed funding to develop the social enterprise.

Pearl has been awarded a £5000 Start It award to progress the market following a successful trial in 2017. The award is funded by the Social Entrepreneurs Fund and delivered by Firstport, Scotland’s development agency for start-up social enterprise.

Girvan Community Market runs every Friday at the Town House in Girvan and allows local producers, as well as artists and craft makers, to get their products in front of both locals and visitors.

Pearl first began developing her idea as part of the What if...Girvan programme, delivered by Firstport. Through the programme, Pearl has had access to one to one business training, mentoring and peer support. She was also awarded £3000 seed funding to initially pilot the market, provided by the William Grant Foundation.

A year on from testing the market, Pearl and ethical brand specialist BOLD have been working together to develop a brand for the newly named Girvan Community Market.

Pearl McGibbon, founder of Girvan Community Market, said: "The market is all about promoting small local businesses. It’s a real sense of community and the new brand and name, Girvan Community Market, help to reflect that. I’m looking forward to taking part in the Folk Festival and Girvan 1668 celebrations coming up and showcasing what we have to offer in South Carrick.

“Being part of What if…Girvan has given me the support and confidence I needed to get the market going. With the new branding and £5000 Start It grant, I’m ready to put the Girvan Community Market firmly on the map.”

As part of her future plans, Pearl is also looking to create a community farm to supply more fresh produce at the weekly gathering.

Josiah Lockhart, Chief Executive of Firstport, said: “Having developed and tested her idea through What if…Girvan, Pearl has now successfully applied for further funding which will allow the Girvan Community Market to really take shape. Starting a social enterprise can seem daunting, but the support is there at each stage to help local people develop their ideas and have a direct impact in their community.”

See the Girvan Community Market in action as part of the Girvan Folk Festival and Girvan 1668 celebrations on Friday 4th, Sunday 6th and Monday 7th of May 2018.

Do you have a business idea that could make a positive difference in Girvan and the South Carrick villages? You don’t need a business background to run a social enterprise. Firstport has the tools, skills and resources to help you. Including one to one business support to develop your idea, up to £3000 in funding to test it, along with training, leadership development, mentoring and peer support.

Contact Sally Johnston (sally@firstport.org.uk 07501 950 413) to find out how What if...Girvan can help turn your idea into reality.


For further information contact Jess Gray, Communications Officer (0131 558 2724 jess@firstport.org.uk)

What is social enterprise?
Social enterprise is about running a business, making a profit, and using that money to create a positive social impact. Any surplus income, after covering running costs and salaries, is reinvested in the business and goes towards its social aims.

Established in 2007, Firstport is Scotland’s development agency for start-up social enterprise, offering a full package of free business support and resources that includes start-up funds, business advice, practical tools and connections. More information is available at: www.firstport.org.uk

What if...Girvan
What if…Girvan is a programme delivered by Firstport, supporting people to develop and launch business ideas that make a positive difference in Girvan and South Carrick villages.
Support includes one to one support to develop their idea and up to £3000 in funding to test it out, along with training, leadership development, mentoring and peer support. The programme is open to those in and around the KA26 postcode (although you don’t have to live there). More information at: http://www.firstport.org.uk/programmes/what-if-girvan

Social Entrepreneurs Fund
Since 2009, the Social Entrepreneurs Fund has made 579 awards and distributed £4.3 million across Scotland. Start It awards are for people who have an innovative business idea that tackles a range of different social issues within their communities. Budding entrepreneurs can apply for up to £5000 of start-up costs to pilot their idea.