Small grants to set up a community business

Community Business Bright Ideas Fund
7 August, 2019


The Community Business Bright Ideas Fund is now open for new community groups, registered charities and CICs in England that want to become a business or are already operating as a business. Small grants of up to £15,000 are provided by Power to Change; 150 community businesses have been awarded funding since 2016.

Examples of previously funded businesses include:

  • A cookery school led by community members in a diverse neighbourhood, to build residents' skills and encourage neighbourhood friendships.
  • Community transport for rural areas, especially targeting elderly residents.
  • An old launderette converted into a community hub.
  • A darkroom which gives local people the chance to get involved in photography and develop a new skill.

In order to be eligible, your community business idea must be:

  • Locally rooted - based in a specific district or neighbourhood.
  • Accountable to the community - this could be through membership schemes or local trustees.
  • Trading to benefit the community - profits go back into the local area to help improve it.
  • Able to have a broad and inclusive community impact - engaging with different groups that have a range of needs.
  • Established for five years or less - your idea may be new, but if your organisation's date of incorporation was more than five years ago, you cannot be awarded a grant.

Please note that the Bright Ideas Fund currently receives a high volume of applications for community cafes and shops, and only the strongest can be funded. Applications for low carbon or renewable energy projects are particularly encouraged.

Applications close on Monday 7 October 2019. 

Click here for more details, including guidelines. Please email any questions to

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