Competition to win £6,000 award for a great community business idea launches

Today Power to Change launches its Community Business Bright Sparks competition which offers budding community businesses in Merseyside and Greater Manchester the chance to win a £6,000 award.

The charitable trust, set up with £150 million from the Big Lottery Fund to support and grow community business, is working in conjunction with the Liverpool Echo and Manchester Evening News to seek new ideas for how a community business could change a place for the better.

Three finalists in each area will be chosen to attend a friendly Dragon’s Den style event later this year. Supported by Locality they will pitch their ideas to a panel of experts in a bid to win the prize. These events will bring together great local community businesses as well as commercial businesses to celebrate and showcase their achievements.

The friendly Dragon’s Den panels will choose the two winning ideas, one in Merseyside and one in Greater Manchester and each will be awarded £6,000 worth of expert business development support.

Community businesses are hugely varied and can range from pubs, libraries and shops saved from closure to regeneration and employment projects that boost the local economy. They all invest their profits back in to the local area.

In Manchester, Ancoats Dispensary Trust is a great example of a community business. Local people rallied round to save this historic building from demolition and secured funding to bring it back into use. Once renovated, it will provide a unique venue for a range of community events and commercial space for local businesses. And in Anfield in Liverpool, Homebaked, the community bakery and land trust, sells delicious pies and bread while providing job and training opportunities and reinvesting its profits into regenerating housing in the local area.

Vidhya Alakeson, Chief Executive of Power to Change said: “If you are a budding community business in Greater Manchester or Merseyside with a great idea for how to improve your local area then do enter our competition. With £6,000 worth of expert support up for grabs to make your bright spark of an idea a reality, this really is an opportunity too good to miss

“Community businesses boost their local economies, create jobs, improve local people’s lives and make their local area a better place to live. This competition is all about helping new community businesses to thrive.”

To be eligible to enter the Community Business Bright Sparks Competition, your group must be based in Greater Manchester or Merseyside and able to show that your idea for a community business is:

  • Based in a specific neighbourhood or place
  • Run by or accountable to their local community
  • Planning to generate an income that can be reinvested in the community
  • Designed to benefit the local community


For all the information on the competition and how to apply please visit and submit your entry before 5pm on Monday 15 August 2016.

The events celebrating community business and hosting the friendly Dragon’s Den competition will be held at Victoria Warehouse, Manchester on 20 October 2016 and Rum Warehouse, Liverpool on 23 November 2016.