Power to Change supports community businesses to revive local assets, protect the services people rely on, and address local needs.

To be considered for funding you will need to show that your organisation meets our definition of a community business. Community businesses work to address a variety of social problems, from saving local shops to providing affordable housing, and they have four characteristics in common. You can find them below.

You should also ensure that you meet the criteria specific to the Power to Change funding programme to which you apply.

Locally rooted

We only fund businesses that are based in their community
  1. Typically that local area will be smaller in size than a local authority. It will be well defined and may include a number of postcodes or villages.
  2. People must self identify with that area.
  3. A majority of staff, volunteers and other stakeholders should be drawn from the local community and reflect its diversity.

Watch Ronnie from Granby Four Streets talk about the importance of local roots.

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Accountable to the local community

The business must be locally controlled
  1. The local community must have a genuine say in how the business is run, eg through regular consultation, membership or ownership.
  2. There are formal structures to engage a large number of local people on a frequent and ongoing basis.
  3. A large majority of the management and trustees should be drawn from the community.

Watch how Sheffield Live are accountable to their community. Community shares is one way you can make sure your community has a stake in your business.

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Trading for the benefit of the local community

Profits must stay in the area
  1. The organisation must have a clear trading model.
  2. A majority of its profits should be distributed locally and used to deliver local benefit.
  3. The project we are funding must have charitable purpose. Any private benefit must be incidental.

Watch Dee from Crediton Commmunity Bookshop talk about trading for community benefit

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Broad community impact

You must address challenges in your community
  1. A community business should contribute to a broader sense of confidence and pride in a place.
  2. It must be able to articulate how it is tackling the specific issues that exist in its community.
  3. A community business must be able to show the impact it is making.

Watch Iftikar from All Saints Action Network talk about community impact

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