What is community business?

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Community businesses help make places better in a real way. 

From saving local shops and creating leisure facilities to providing training opportunities for local people and helping to build affordable housing. All over England, people are coming together to make the places they live better.

Community businesses can be any type of business that trades products and services such as shops, transport, farms, hubs, pubs, gardens or leisure centres, run by local people for the benefit of the local community.

There’s a growing movement of communities taking back control of their local areas through business. Hundreds of thousands of people working to improve the places where they live – buying the last pub in the village, running their local football club, saving their public halls and local libraries.

Community businesses come in many shapes and sizes. At Power to Change we have found that organisations that are locally rooted, accountable to the community, trading for community benefit and creating broad community impact are particularly impactful to empower people to make their local places better, and we support organisations that share these values (or share some of these values and are interested in learning more about how these values might make their organisation stronger).


Community businesses are locally rooted


Accountable to the local community

For what?

Trading for the benefit of the local community


Aim for broad community impact

What do we mean by these values?

Local roots

A business started by local people that will benefit the community around it.

Accountability to the local community

The local community have a genuine say in how the business is run.

Trade for the benefit of the local community

Community businesses sell services and products in and around their local area.

Broad community impact

Community businesses engage with a variety of different groups in their community and address different community needs. They may have a specific focus on a disadvantaged group, or support the local community more widely.

Over 11,000 community businesses already play a vibrant role in local places across England.

Explore some more