Who we support and how

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We support people to start and grow community businesses that revive local assets, create the services people rely on, and address local needs.

Community businesses help make places better in a real way.

From saving local shops and creating leisure facilities to providing more training opportunities for local people and helping build affordable housing.

We support the community business sector by:

Conducting research

Unlike many other funders and research organisations, we also put our data to work to support community businesses. From our range of success guides that provide practical tips for running a community businesses based on our latest analysis to Twine, our suite of free apps that help communities spend more time doing good, and less time on paperwork, we have shown there are many ways to use data for good. Read our latest research.

Influencing policymakers

Using strategic funding, trusted partnerships, rigorous research, policy insight, and a strong network of remarkable community businesses to make the case for increased community power. We amplify the efforts of community businesses and put them at the heart of a fair recovery. Find out more.

Investing in community businesses

Providing community businesses with match funding,  helping them to increase their income through trading and supporting them to develop and launch community share offers. Check out our open programmes.

Offering peer-to-peer support

Connecting like-minded community business leaders who can help provide support, guidance and a place to share your views and inspiring news. Community Business Patchwork is run by and for community businesses in the UK.

Strengthening capacity

Supporting those leading and working in community business with technical expertise, professional development, resilience and wellbeing support tailored to the needs of individual community businesses. Sign up to our newsletter for updates.

Providing free digital tools

Twine Visitor is an app that allows your visitors to sign in to your activities and events quickly and easily. The accompanying dashboard will tell you more about who you’re reaching in your community.

Twine Benchmark brings together really useful financial information from more than 650 community based businesses throughout England over a five-year period to give you a rich source of data about how they’re doing.

Twine Volunteer is a free mobile app helping your volunteers record their contributions without any paperwork, and helping you better understand the work they’re doing. It’s a hassle-free way to keep tabs on your activities and projects and how much time and effort each requires.


Each local and combined authority knows its constituents the best, so where do we start adding value? We have a depth of experience in understanding what works to empower communities. Ways of turning insight into action. The methods by which communities and local authorities can act on the results of any survey, report or exploration of data.

This work builds on our successes to date, which have seen community businesses integrated into strategies from the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority and the West Midlands Combined Authority as well as local authority approaches to asset transfer and other policies. From our popular and practical guides to tailored research commissioned by local authorities, we are here to help everyone who cares about this country to build back better. Find out more.

Community businesses are locally rooted

Accountable to the local community

Trading for the benefit of the local community

Aim for broad community impact

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