Funding news - 01/01/2018

Community Share Booster Programme Opens in England

Local groups that need ‘an extra boost’ to set up or grow a community business in England can seek support from this £3 million programme which runs until 2020.

The £3 million Booster Programme, which is expected to run over a five year period (2017-2022), is provided by Power to Change and run by the Community Shares Unit, a joint initiative between Co-operatives UK and Locality.

The programme's objectives are to help disadvantaged and under-represented communities develop successful community businesses, especially in under-represented trade sectors, and financed through community share offers based on new forms of investment proposition, institutional support, and business appraisal methodologies.

Community businesses are organisations rooted in a local area, run by and answerable to members of the community, and which make a trading profit to re-invest in doing more social good. There are already 7,000 community businesses in England, doing everything from planning new affordable homes to reviving struggling local pubs.

The programme offers successful applicants a business development support grant of up to £10,000 in advance of launching their community share offer. After that, their organisation could have access to up to £100,000 match funding when the share offer goes live. Match funding will be in the form of equity held on equal terms with other community shareholders.

Commenting on the programme, Locality’s CEO Tony Armstrong said:

“Community Shares harness the power and spirit of enterprise in communities – showing the power of community action to financially support great ideas and inspirational projects. We welcome this new investment to boost community shares so that more people can come together to develop new projects, benefit local economies and thriving communities.”

There is a two stage application process. The first stage is to submit an online expression of interest. These can be submitted at any time from now until December 2020.

Full details can be found on the Power to Share website.

Source: Power to Change, 01/01/2018