Delve into the history of community business with Steve Wyler’s book ‘In Our Hands’

Commissioned by Power to Change.

Community businesses may seem a recent reaction to times of austerity but, in fact, they are neither a new phenomenon nor simply just a plaster for a broken economy. Over hundreds of years they have provided services by the people for the people, placing power and ownership into the hands of communities.

In his detailed book, former Chief Executive of Locality, Steve Wyler, maps out the history of community businesses and their evolution over time. By exploring the full gamut of community business ventures, a story emerges demonstrating that it is possible to harness civic engagement with an entrepreneurial motive.

“If our history tells us anything it tells us that despite all change, the core impulse of community business, trading for good, remains valid and irrepressible.”

Steve Wyler

Author, 'In Our Hands'

The history of community business proves that communities themselves can create an inclusive form of participation and empowerment from a grassroots level. ‘In Our Hands’ is an inspiring reference point for a powerful movement that is defined by a truly radical spirit.

Find out more

You can explore the contents of the book or order your own copy from Crediton Community Bookshop.


“This is an extraordinary story of self help and mutual aid cascading down through the ages. In this wonderfully readable British history by Steve Wyler, a community business equation emerges. Practical action plus popular participation can multiply hopes and dreams.”
– Ed Mayo, Co-operatives UK

“This readable book reminds all of us engaged in civil society that we truly stand on the shoulders of giants. In tracing our history in such an engaging and readable way, Steve Wyler allows us to rethink our future, and in particular to understand the power of mutual support and solidarity in difficult times.”
– Julia Unwin, Independent Inquiry into the Future of Civil Society

“This book reveals an inspiring history of people coming together and through innovation and enterprise creating solutions to tough social and economic problems. It’s a real source of hope in difficult times.”
– Matthew Bolton, Citizens UK