2021 was a year of reset and refresh for Power to Change.
During 2021, the Covid-19 pandemic continued to disrupt lives and businesses, providing ongoing challenges for the community business sector as well as for our own organisation. There was, however, a shift compared to the difficult weeks and months of 2020. At Power to Change, we moved from emergency response to adaptation. We began to look forward. At the same time, the community business sector continued to show resilience, with an increased demand for their services and widespread adaptation of services to meet their communities’ needs.
We developed and launched a new five-year strategy that reflected what we’d learned about the most pressing needs of the sector in the context of economic and social recovery. We reaffirmed our partnership with The National Lottery Community Fund and are delighted that they are supporting our new strategy with an additional £20 million. We also agreed significant new partnerships with Virgin Money Foundation and Open Society Foundations. We are clear about our role in the years ahead, as a catalyst and enabler that supports community businesses, working to place them at the heart of a fairer economy. Our vision is a future where more communities in England are running community businesses that give them power to change what matters to them, creating places that are better to live and work in for everyone. Our role is to strengthen this vital sector, through direct support and through making the case for others to support and invest in community business.