Crowdfunding success for coffee shop Gaelic lessons

Sarah Bolland, the owner of Glasgow’s only Gaelic coffee shop – Coffee and Craic – has surpassed her crowdfunding target with one day to spare thanks to over eighty people who pledged between £5 and £100. Crowdfunding is a relatively new method of sourcing donations from contacts in your social networks (from for example Facebook, Linked-in and Twitter), and in return for a pledge a reward  is paid out – in this case cups of coffee, sandwiches, Gaelic tuition and artwork.


Sarah joined Crowdfunder to fund her community activity of providing Gaelic tuition. The funds will help to pay for classes with parents and other learners for the first 2 months, thereafter she hopes to use her profits to fund her tutors allowing the new start-up business to offer more and more activities, toddler groups, children’s reading sessions, poetry evenings and music evenings.

Image by/Dealbh le Laura Baillie

Our Senior Consultant, Jamie Wallace, has been following the project closely offering support along the way. He then helped to coordinate one final push over the weekend to reach this important target, resulting in the creation of a press release by Laura Baillie and then a news piece reported by Iain MacDiarmaid that was broadcast on BBC Alba tonight at 8.15pm. Commenting on the fundraising effort and broadcast, Jamie expressed his delight.

He said: I was delighted to see the BBC take the story up and our hard work came to this. I found the news really inspiring.This crowdfunding project has helped to re-energise private funding efforts in Gaelic development. I believe it will bring about a new confidence in the Gaelic community as a whole as it demonstrates how Social Media can have a positive effect on small business and community organisations. Sarah has done really well to date and I wish her every success in her business.”

Just under 55,000 Twitter accounts found out about today’s final endeavour to top the £2000 target. Out of the 35 contributors, the top tweeters included Crowdfunder (@CrowdFunderUK), STV news anchorman John MacKay (@RealMacKaySTV), MG Alba (@GaelicMedia),  Gaelic singer and tutor, Joy Dunlop (@JoyDunlop) and Jamie Wallace (@SeumaidhUallas).

The coffee shop will open in August, just in time for school’s going back. But before then, Sarah has pledged as a BIG thank-you to all of her pledgers “to hold a pre-opening night with music, food and drinks! (All for free!)”. Sarah says she will be in touch with all her pledgers after the Crowdfunding event has finished to ask for contact details to send out invitations.


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