Communities come together and set up community businesses to address challenges they face together.
There are many types of community business. They can be shops, farms, pubs or call centres, among many other types of business. What they all have in common is that they are accountable to their community and that the profits they generate deliver positive local impact. Read some of their stories.
Power to Change is an independent charitable trust set up to support community businesses to create better places across England.
The four key features of a community business are:
- Locally rooted: They are rooted in a particular geographical place and respond to its needs. For example, that could be high levels of urban deprivation or rural isolation.
- Trading for the benefit of the local community: They are businesses. Their income comes from things like renting out space in their buildings, trading as cafes, selling produce they grow or generating energy.
- Accountable to the local community: They are accountable to local people, for example through a community shares offer that creates members who have a voice in the business’s direction.
- Broad community impact: They engage with a variety of different groups in their community and deliver impact against a range of different community needs. They may have a specific focus on a disadvantaged group, for example, BAME people or disabled people, where this fits into the context of them also supporting the local community more widely. Their services and products should respond to community needs.