Boosting Community Business London
Are you passionate about driving local change and want to see your community benefit? A community business model might be the way to go.
Community businesses are profit generating organisations, run by and trading for the benefit of local people. They cover everything from food growing hubs and leisure centers, to education spaces and pubs.
Community businesses are proven to bring resilience, stability and economic benefits to local places and high streets – 56p of every pound spent in a community business stays in the local community.
Boosting Community Business London is a new pilot scheme to grow high streets and civic centers.
Delivered by community business champions Power to Change and Cooperatives UK and supported by the Mayor of London, the new fund will help local groups to set up and grow a community business. It will also support existing community businesses looking to run a community share offer.
The fund will empower local people to establish socially trading businesses and services that their local communities want and need.
It will also help them to take on the sustainable management and ownership of locally important assets by supporting raising funds through community shares.
It is part of the Mayor’s commitment to helping London become a fairer, greener, more open and vibrant city as we begin to recover from the pandemic and delivers on the London Recovery Board’s High Streets for All mission.
Who can apply?
We are keen to support groups looking to:
- Revive and take ownership of local assets. This could be community hubs or projects helping revive high streets.
- Protect the services in their local area that people rely on, and address local needs.
We’re also looking to support existing community businesses that want to grow by raising funds through community share offers.
How it works
There are two types of support available:
- Track 1: Groups looking to set up and operate as community businesses can apply for up to eight days of bespoke business support, mentoring and training worth up to £4,000. We can help you to quickly set up your community business, develop your business idea and become a sustainable and growing business. Or convert your existing organisation to a community business so that you can raise finance through community shares. Track 1 applications have now closed.
- Track 2: Community businesses planning to raise finance through community share offers can also apply for development grants of up to £10,000 to cover the costs of completing the Standard Mark assessment (the quality mark for community share offers) and promotional spend for the share offer campaign itself. Track 2 expressions of interest open 29 March. Deadline for expressions of interest is 3 May. Full applications invited by 7 June.
On February 2nd and 11th, Power to Change and Co-operatives UK hosted two digital workshops introducing community business and the benefits associated with setting up to operate in this way. Check out the webinars here:
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