The two-year £1.85 million Bright Ideas Community Business Fund is open for applications from community groups and organisations that need support to set up their community business in England.
The Bright Ideas Community Business Fund is jointly funded by Power to Change and the Department for Communities and Local Government. The programme will be delivered on their behalf by a consortium including Co-operatives UK, Plunkett Foundation and Groundwork UK, led by Locality.
The Fund offers a programme of support and grants of up to £20,000 to help community groups set up their own business and carry out the necessary consultations with local people and feasibility studies to develop a community business idea the community wants and needs.
It is anticipated that the average award will be around £14,000 per organisation. It is expected that half of the funding will be available in the first of the four application windows.
The support includes:
- Online induction and ongoing support, either online, by phone or where possible through visits.
- Community Business development plans, to help successful groups shape and develop strategies and plans for their community business.
- Mentoring and visits, to inspire applicants and give them the opportunity to learn from peers.
- Regional networking and events, to learn from social finance experts, successful community business leaders, funders and technical specialists.