GRIN #2045

GRIN #2045 – Tues 17th October 2017: COMMUNITY BUSINESS BRIGHT IDEAS FUND – Grants up to £15,000 and tailored support for community groups in England that want to develop their fledgling community business ideas (final round opens on 1 November with a deadline of 1 December 2017)

The Community Business Bright Ideas Fund is designed to help community groups set up their own business and carry out the necessary consultations with local people and feasibility studies to develop a community business idea the community wants and needs.

PLEASE NOTE: for the final round, which opens on 1 November 2017, there is one significant change to the eligibility criteria: the community organisation applying must not have been constituted for more than 5 years at the time of making an application. This is to ensure that only new groups are considered for funding in this round.

To be eligible Community Business ideas must:

1. Share one or more of Power to Change’s seven impact goals;
2. Address at least one charitable purpose; and
3 Be developing no more than three eligible activities as listed below.

The seven impact goals are:

1. Reduce social isolation;
2. Improve health and wellbeing;
3. Increase employability;
4. Create better access to basic services;
5. Improve the local environment;
6. Enable greater community cohesion; and
7. Foster greater community pride and empowerment.

The charitable purposes are:

o The prevention or relief of poverty;
o The advancement of education;
o The advancement of citizenship or community development;
o The advancement of the arts, culture, heritage or science;
o The advancement of amateur sport;
o The promotion of religious or racial harmony or equality and diversity;
o The advancement of environmental protection or improvement; and
o The relief of those in need, by reason of youth, age, ill-health, disability, financial hardship or other disadvantage.

The eligible activities are:

o Arts centre or facility;
o Community hub, facility or space;
o Community pub, shop or cafe;
o Employment, training, business support or education;
o Energy;
o Environmental or nature conservation;
o Food catering or production (including farming);
o Health, care or wellbeing;
o Housing;
o Income or financial inclusion;
o Sports and leisure;
o Transport; and
o Visitor facilities or tourism.

The grants will fund a number of different things, including:

o Getting established as an organisation (legal fees, registration fees);
o Training;
o Knowledge and skills exchanges; and/or
o Reasonable fees incurred in developing their community business idea (community engagement, market research, etc).

Organisations that are accepted on the programme will receive:

o Business development support – between 2 to 15 days of business development support from Locality, Plunkett Foundation, or Co-operatives UK;
o Peer to peer networking – the opportunity to learn from existing community businesses, through visits and event; and
o Grant funding – the opportunity to apply for a grant of up to £15,000 to develop an idea and/or improve the applicant organisation’s capacity, depending on their needs.

The funding for the third and final round of the Fund is:

o Ideas stage – grants of between £1,000 and £10,000;
o Pre-venture stage – grants of between £1,000 and £15,000.

It is expected that most of the grants will be awarded in the Ideas and Pre-venture stages.

Groups also have the option of applying for business development support and no grant. There is a match funding requirement. Because competition for the fund is expected to be high, the funder (Power to Change) has indicated that applications with a healthy level of match funding are more likely to secure support.

Power to Change will fund a broad range of organisational types, including:

o Unincorporated Association;
o Company Limited by Guarantee;
o Company Limited by Shares;
o Community Interest Company Limited by Shares;
o Community Interest Company Limited by Guarantee;
o Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO);
o Co-operative Society (IPS Co-operative);
o Community Benefit Society (IPS Bencom); and
o Charitable Trust.

Applicants must:

o Be a group, an organisation, or an association;
o Be based in England;
o Have an idea for a community business;
o Not have been constituted for more than five years at the time of making an application;
o Be locally rooted;
o Be accountable to the local community;
o Be trading for the benefit of the local community; and
o Be able to show their business has a broad community impact.

The following are not eligible for funding:

o Local authorities, statutory organisations or services which are regarded as statutory or government provision;
o Individuals;
o Regional or national organisations or organisations that are working local authority-wide;
o Proposals which promote the advancement of religion or that are party political in nature. (Faith groups may apply as long as their project has a charitable purpose other than the advancement of religion.);
o Activities outside of England;
o Capital costs such as building purchase or refurbishment or the purchase of equipment; or
o Ongoing running costs (salaries, rent, insurance, etc.).

Projects must be completed by July 2018 when the Bright Ideas programme ends.

The third and final round will accept applications from Wednesday 1 November until Friday 1 December 2017.

In the first instance, applicants are requested to use the Eligibility Checker on the MyCommunity website to ensure they meet the criteria for the programme.

Those who are eligible will receive an email with a link to the application form. Applicants will then be notified of a decision within four to six weeks of the receipt of application.

Successful groups will be assigned an advisor to help them develop their plan.

For further information, visit the Bright Ideas Fund webpages.

Contact details for the fund are:

My Community Advisory Team
Locality – My Community
33 Corsham Street
N1 6DR
Tel: 0300 020 1864