Independent trust Power to Change is funding a new project, bringing together a network of community businesses with other local groups to transform the places where they live.
Thirteen organisations, from Cornwall’s Eden Project to community football experts Supporters Direct, will set up or expand peer networks aimed at increasing connections between community businesses to improve their local areas.
The project will also assemble thirteen leading peer network practitioners from these organisations. Over 18 months, they will explore ways to implement and improve network models helping community businesses to share ideas, plans and inspiration with each other more effectively.
The Peer Networks programme aims to strengthen the networks supporting community businesses, as they continue to grow in size and scope. There are now more than 7,000 community businesses in England, each serving the social needs of local people and recycling money back into the local area.
The project results from Power to Change research showing that:
- 72% community businesses already work closely with other community businesses
- 69% community businesses actively support the chance to network more with other community businesses
The organisations involved are:
- Community Food Growers Network
- The Company of Community Organisations
- Co-Operatives UK
- Eden Project
- Impact Hub Brixton
- Octopus Community Network Ltd
- Plunkett Foundation
- Project Dirt
- Regen SW
- Social Enterprise Acumen CIC
- Supporters Direct
- Upper Norwood Library Trust
Keep up with the peer network experts’ findings on http://www.thepowertochange.org.uk/support-and-resources/peer-networking/
1.Started in 2015, Power to Change is an independent charitable trust endowed with £150 million from the Big Lottery Fund to grow community business in England. Over the next nine years, we will provide funding and support to help build many more sustainable community businesses that have positive economic, social and environmental impact in local places across England.
2. Community businesses are charities or other local organisations which are locally rooted, trading for the benefit of the local community, accountable to local people, and have broad community impact.