Round 8 of Power to Change’s Community Business Fund now open to applications (application deadline 9 October 2019)

Round 8 of Power to Change’s Community Business Fund is now open to applications with a deadline of Wednesday 9 October 2019

The Community Business Fund is by some distance the largest of Power to Change‘s grant programmes, allocating grants in excess of £5 million during its last financial year.

The aim of the Fund, which is highly competitive and only available in England, is to increase the social impact of community businesses, enabling them to become more financially viable in the long term by increasing traded income, securing an asset or reducing revenue costs.

A community business is usually founded to tackle a local issue that the community faces together. The four key features a community business must have are:

1. Locally rooted – they are rooted in a particular geographical place and respond to its needs, for example high levels of urban deprivation or rural isolation.
2. Accountable to local community – they are accountable to local people. This can be demonstrated in many ways but the organisation must have evidence of regular community influence on the business.
3. Trading for benefit of local community – they are businesses and their income comes from activities like renting out space in their buildings, trading as cafés or selling the produce they grow, and
4. Broad community impact – they benefit the community as a whole and can clearly evidence the positive social impact on the broader community.

Grants of between £50,000 and £300,000 are available for:

o Building-related capital costs (purchasing, renovating or adapting), applicants can request up to a maximum of 75% of these costs.
o Non-building related capital costs (purchasing other equipment and physical assets); applicants can request 100% of these costs, and
o Project specific revenue costs of running the business, applicants can request up to 75% of the revenue costs associated with the project.

Incorporated organisations with a charitable purpose, such as a Community Interest Company limited by guarantee, a Charitable Incorporated Organisation, a Cooperative Society or a Company Limited by Guarantee or Shares may apply for:

o 75% of revenue costs for the project (for example, staff salaries, professional fees etc.).
o 75% of building-related capital costs (for example, purchasing, extending or renovating a building), or
o 100% of other capital costs (for example, purchasing transport).

As Power to Change will not fund the full cost of a project, applicants will be expected to have other sources of funding either confirmed or close to confirmation to show that the project is viable.
Projects should have a charitable purpose, be for the public benefit and share one or more of the following impact goals:

o Reduce social isolation.
o Improve health and wellbeing.
o Increase employability.
o Create better access to basic services.
o Improve local environment.
o Enable greater community cohesion, and/or
o Foster greater community pride and empowerment.

Projects must be ready to start within six months and can last between 18 months and 3 years. Applicants are welcome to contact Power to Change’s grant partner, the BE Group (contact details below), at any point during the application process for free advice and guidance.

Funding is not available for:

o Unincorporated organisations, such as charitable trusts and unincorporated associations.

o Retrospective costs.
o Costs which someone else is paying for, whether in cash or in kind.
o Existing day-to-day running costs, or
o Proposals that promote the advancement of religion or that are party political in nature.

Further information, guidelines and an online application form is available on the Power to Change website.