If you are a community business that needs funding for a business development project which will make your organisation more sustainable, then you should consider an application.
What is a community business?
The last few years have seen a rise in the number of community businesses in the UK. However, many people are unclear as to what they are and what they do. Perhaps one of the best explanations comes from Power to Change which was set up in 2015 with the aim of supporting community businesses to create better places across England. They have identified four characteristics that are shared by most community businesses:
- Locally rooted
They are rooted in a particular geographical place and respond to its needs. For example, that could be high levels of urban deprivation or rural isolation.
- Trading for the benefit of the local community
They are businesses. Their income comes from things like renting out space in their buildings, trading as cafes, selling produce they grow or generating energy.
- Accountable to the local community
They are accountable to local people, for example through a community shares offer that creates members who have a voice in the business’s direction.
- Broad community impact
They benefit and impact their local community as a whole. They often morph into the hub of a neighbourhood, where all types of local groups gather, for example to access broadband or get training in vital life skills.
Types of community business
Support is given to local people to address local challenges, control local assets and services that are in danger of ceasing to exist and to start new businesses that respond to local need.
Funding and grants for community businesses
Grants of £30,000 to £500,000 are available to community businesses through Power to Change’s Community Business Fund.