Small grants to set up a community business
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.