TestTown, a concept devised and supported by the Carnegie UK Trust, encourages new entrepreneurs to create innovative new businesses to help bring energy back to flagging town centres and city districts. TestTown provides participants with bespoke business training, development funding and a low-risk, free trading environment from which to test out an idea.
TestTown 2013 was a nationwide competition which culminated in a pop-up retail festival in Dunfermline, Scotland.
TestTown 2014 worked in partnership with a range of towns to run a series of local TestTown events followed by a Grand Final in Cambridge.
TestTown 2015 launched in July with a different slant looking to support start-ups in ways which were appropriate and effective to the regeneration of their own place/community. Between July and December 2015, the TestTown competition has seen 10 towns from across the UK host an enterprise challenge in town centre spaces, with each challenge tailored to local economic needs. Challenges have included a pop-up youth enterprise market in Bridgend, Wales, green enterprise training and mentoring in Walthamstow, London and a master crafts training session for unemployed 18-30 year olds in Enniscorthy, Ireland.