There are many ways of growing the market for community business in England. As well as directly funding individual community businesses at every stage of their development, Power to Change believes in backing creative and innovative ways to build lasting and significant change to the sector.
Power to Change’s Innovation and Infrastructure Fund provides flexible and responsive risk capital, aimed at disrupting established approaches. These approaches can then be tested to see how and where they will make the most difference.
Applications to the Innovation and Infrastructure Fund is by invitation only. The fund is currently closed. We will be making an announcement later in 2017 about its next phase.
In 2016 we funded nearly £1.2 million of grants to 12 organisations:
- Wikihouse (£97,295): to build a prototype of web-based tool to guide community builders through the design, planning and build process.
- Repowering Brixton (£125,000): to develop five new community-led renewable energy projects in communities in Lambeth.
- DERIC (£120,000): to work in partnership with local authorities in Merseyside, Gosport and Ashbourne to develop community businesses.
- Camerados (£66,230): to explore ways of replicating a ‘public living room’ and cafe in Oxford where local residents suffering from social isolation or mental health difficulties can meet and help each other.
- Plunkett Foundation (£102,750): to bring entrepreneurs together with stakeholders and users of health and social services to develop community-run rural services.
- Community Catalysts (£119,000): to help local people in Telford and Warwickshire work with their local authorities to develop community-led social care and health solutions.
- Real Farming Trust (£88,400): to develop an ‘enlightened agriculture’ impact fund to support small-scale food and farming community businesses.
- Crowdfunder (£100,000): to create a rolling development fund with match funding that will enable early stage community businesses to launch a community share issue as a second stage.
- Real Ideas Organisation (£140,000): to partner with eight schools in areas of multiple deprivation to encourage parents, pupils and staff to set up community businesses.
- Onion Collective (£60,000): to enable this community business to become a recognised support provider to other community business across Somerset and Devon.
- Plunkett Foundation and International Centre for Social Franchising (£69,227): to fund the feasibility of a community pubs group for joint purchasing, systems and membership.
- Ubele Initiative (£99,150): to develop a package of tools, support, mentoring and capacity building for sustainable black, Asian and minority ethnic community assets and enterprises.