Applications are now open for the Community Business Trade Up Programme

Community businesses across England can now apply for a learning programme and a grant matched to their earnings of up to £10,000, to support their growth and increase the difference they make to their local area.

The Community Business Trade Up Programme, run by the School for Social Entrepreneurs (SSE), in partnership with Power to Change, is open for applications until Thursday 14th February 2019. This is the third year the programme has run.

The programme supports the leaders of community businesses with:

  • a Match Trading™ grant of up to £10,000
  • a fully funded nine-month learning programme (consisting of 12 learning days)
  • a community of supportive peers

The Match Trading grant, created by SSE, is a new type of grant-funding that pound-for-pound matches an increase in income from trading. By rewarding sales growth, Match Trading incentivises social organisations to develop their trading base, so they can build stronger futures. The first cohort of the Community Business Trade Up Programme achieved a typical 92% increase in income from trading[1].

The learning programme will help the leaders of community businesses to develop the skills, strengths and networks they need to increase their impact, with a focus on increasing their sales and income from trading. It runs from June 2019 to March 2020 and there are places for 80 community business leaders across England who will learn in groups of 10. The programme is delivered by the School for Social Entrepreneurs at seven locations across England.

Alastair Wilson, CEO of School for Social Entrepreneurs, said: “We’re delighted to partner with Power to Change for a third year, so we can jointly support a further 80 community business in England to grow. Community businesses strengthen local economies and enrich the fabric of society. But running them can be challenging. We’ll help community business leaders develop the skills, strengths and networks they need to improve their sustainability and impact, with the support of Match Trading grants and a learning approach we’ve refined over 21 years.”

Jenny Sansom, Programmes Manager at Power to Change said: “This programme will give a really important step up for relatively new community businesses and help them to focus on their trading activities and long-term sustainability. The first cohort of this kind of funding enjoyed a 92% increase in trading, which is a huge impact. I’m delighted to be opening up this programme for a new group of community businesses in 2019.”

The Community Business Trade Up programme has already supported 130 community business leaders through its first two phases, in 2017 and 2018.

Roisin Tobin is business development manager at Buzz Lockleaze, a community shop, café and garden that grows, produces and sells fresh and affordable food, offering volunteering and training opportunities, in Lockleaze, Bristol. She completed the Community Business Trade Up Programme in 2018 and received a Match Trading grant.

Roisin says: “The Match Trading grant really helped us to focus on growing our income from trading. We knew that if we put the effort in, we would receive an additional pound in funding for every pound we earned. Combined with the learning sessions, it proved to be the catalyst we needed to try ideas and move our thinking from how we would find the next grant to keep us going, to what income we could generate ourselves, to be supplemented by grant. Knowing we’re more self-sufficient is a great boost for the whole team at Buzz Lockleaze.”

Community businesses from across England can find out more and apply now until Thursday 14th February 2019, here 

 

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Notes to editors

About the Community Business Trade Up Programme
The Community Business Trade Up Programme is a learning programme accompanied by a grant or Match Trading grant of up to £10,000 for community businesses that are planning to grow. The programme is run by the School for Social Entrepreneurs (SSE) in partnership with Power to Change. The programme includes 12 learning days, spread over nine months. The programme will support 80 community business leaders in total in this phase, and has previously supported 130 community business leaders. Applications are open now and will close on Thursday 14th February 2019.
More info: https://www.the-sse.org/courses/community-business/

About the School for Social Entrepreneurs
We can’t fix issues like poverty, climate change and ill-health alone. That’s why the School for Social Entrepreneurs exists. SSE helps 1,000 people a year develop the skills, strengths and networks they need to tackle society’s biggest problems. It runs courses that equip people to start, scale and strengthen organisations that make a positive difference. But it is not a traditional school. Learning with SSE is inspiring, action-based and accessible. SSE supports people in others ways too, such as funding and mentoring. Lord Michael Young founded SSE in 1997, and it’s grown to a network of schools across the UK, Canada and India. Together, SSE is changing lives and transforming communities. www.the-sse.org

About Match Trading
Match Trading™ is grant-funding that pound-for-pound matches an increase in income from trading. By rewarding sales growth, Match Trading™ incentivises social organisations to develop their trading base, so they can build stronger futures. Match Trading™ was created by the School for Social Entrepreneurs (SSE) from 20 years of experience of helping people to create sustainable change in their communities. Match Trading™ is made possible with the support of pioneer partners, Lloyds Banking Group and Big Lottery Fund, and programme partner Power to Change, and its development is overseen by a Task Force of 20 leading social-sector organisations. It will be used by at least 600 social enterprises and community businesses over five years. A Match Trading™ pilot saw 19 social enterprises increase their income from trading by around 90% in one year, with the additional support of an SSE learning programme. A second programme of 20 community businesses saw them increase their income from trading typically by 92% in one year (calculated by median), with the additional support of an SSE learning programme. www.matchtrading.com

[1] In the Match Trading group, there was a typical increase of 92% in income from trading, from £42,000 to £81,000 (comparing median income from trading by year).