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

Community businesses help make places better, for example by saving local shops, giving more training opportunities for local people or providing affordable housing. They have four characteristics in common.

Granby Four Streets

1. Locally rooted

By locally rooted, we mean a business started by local people that will benefit the immediate community around it. In a town, that could be a neighbourhood. In the countryside, that could be several villages. This is the area your community business will benefit. A majority of your staff, volunteers and other stakeholders should be drawn from this area and reflect its diversity.

Watch Ronnie from community-led housing development Granby Four Streets emerged from a local need.

Sheffield Live

2. Accountable to the local community

The local community must have a genuine say in how the business is run, e.g. through regular consultation, membership or ownership. A majority of the management and trustees should be drawn from the community.

Watch how community media hub Sheffield Live is accountable to their community through community shares.

Crediton Community Bookshop

3. Trading for the benefit of the local community

A community business makes money by trading products and services.  You may choose to trade across a broader area than your local community in order to create a sustainable business model.  The profit from trading is then reinvested to deliver more activities/services that benefit local people. That benefit has to be for the many, not the few.

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

All Saints Action Network

4. That has a broad community impact

Community businesses are set up to address local needs and contribute to a broader sense of confidence and pride in a place. They run events, activities or services to meet community needs and to be inclusive and give opportunities for people with different abilities and backgrounds to get involved.

Watch Iftikar from All Saints Action Network talk about community impact

Need help?

Power to Change can only fund and support community businesses. If you think the business you are trying to start or grow is a community business, you can find the latest support and funding options available via the links below.