Making the case for community business in 2019

The Power to Change Research Institute is commissioning and supporting over 25 different research projects this year. We want to better understand what makes community businesses thrive and what impact the sector is having on the wider community.

The sector can look forward to findings on the economic benefits of asset transfer, research on the link between community-led housing and health outcomes; and on how community businesses can contribute to inclusive growth. In addition, in 2019 the way that Power to Change grantees are surveyed will be changed to enable the Research Institute to see the impact of its grants on community businesses and their surrounding places over time. The Research Institute will  also be sponsoring up to five PhD studentships that help to grow the field of community business research.

Director of the Research Institute Richard Harries said: “Power to Change has a vision of better places created through community business. The Research Institute seeks to support this vision by commissioning high-quality research, promoting rigorous analysis and stimulating critical scrutiny and debate. In doing so we aim to shape both policy and practice.”

Since starting in 2016, the Research Institute has published handy community business success guides on room hire, lettings, and cafes; a qualitative study on what accountability means for community businesses; and key stats and facts about the community business market. The 2018 compendium brings together all the research and evidence from the first three years of the Research Institute in one accessible publication.

5% of Power to Change’s £150 million endowment from the Big Lottery Fund is allocated to the Research Institute.

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