Now in its seventh year, the Community Business Trade Up programme (CBTU) has been pioneering new ways of supporting, connecting and funding over 440 community businesses across England through a range of incentivised support interventions. The programme aims to deliver the ‘business’ in community business, building resilience through increased traded income and reducing the reliance on grant funding. Business can generate huge benefits for people and places – jobs, wealth, services, opportunity – and socially-minded business, owned by a local community, can drive these to the benefit of a community and a place.
Anna de Pulford, Director at The Dulverton Trust says, “We are very excited to collaborate with School for Social Entrepreneurs and Power to Change on the Community Business Trade Up programme. Although the Trust’s direct funding goes to national/cross-regional charities, we are really keen to explore models to support grassroots groups. We are also acutely aware that we are just one cog in the wider funding ecology. CBTU has a strong track record and a compelling evidence base. We’re grateful for the opportunity to join this partnership and benefit from the learning so far, rather than trying to reinvent the wheel”.
Tim Davies-Pugh, Chief Executive of Power to Change says, “Welcoming The Dulverton Trust on board to this successful partnership brings more investment into the community business sector. We have seen time and again that communities are best placed to know what is needed in their local area, from reclaiming high streets to creating inclusive opportunities for local people to better their lives. That’s why community businesses are well placed to help tackle inequalities and create a more inclusive economy in which more people can participate and where money is reinvested locally.
We want to continue this theme of collaboration and unlocking investment across the sector to support shared goals. We must continue to empower, upskill, and network community business leaders to weather the social and economic challenges and fulfill their leadership ambitions and potential”.
Alastair Wilson, Chief Executive of School for Social Entrepreneurs says, “CBTU, and the innovative Match Trading grant has developed a strong evidence-based approach to equip community leaders and community “do-ers”, with the tools, skills and networks they need to build resilience and tackle big challenges at a local level, such as social inequality and climate change. We welcome this new collaboration to help us grow success, reach a wider remit of community businesses, and uncover fresh perspective to make CBTU even more impactful for participants”.
This year, the CBTU programme aims to reach earlier stage community businesses, in the hope that it can build a pipeline of diverse community business, and unearth new leaders in the sector, equipping them with the tools to develop their ideas and businesses. Our research points to the fact that this will also help us support more minoritised and racialized communities.
CBTU opens for applications w/c April 17th 2023 and will recruit 40 early-stage community businesses to offer a 12-month cohort-based learning programme and a £5,000 Match Trading grant. Anybody leading or developing a community organisation or business and interested in learning more can leave their details here to be notified as soon as applications open and sent further details on how to apply.