Power to Change – Community Business Bright Ideas Fund

A package of tailored support and grants is available to incorporated or unincorporated organisation in England that want to develop their budding community business ideas. A total of £3 million is being allocated to this fund over the next three years, starting in 2019. Grants of up to £15,000 are available.

It is expected that between 30 and 35 groups will be supported in this round.

Successful organisations will receive:

  • Business development support of up to 12 days from Locality, Plunkett Foundation, or Co-operatives UK.
  • Grant funding of up to £15,000, which can be spent on specific activities to develop the community business idea.
  • Learning and peer networking – access to online resources, thematic webinars and the opportunity to visit and learn from existing community businesses.

The following is an indication of the range of grants available at different stages of development:

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

Round 6 is now open for applications with a deadline of 30 September 2019 (midnight).

The seven impact goals are:

  • Reduce social isolation
  • Improve health and wellbeing
  • Increase employability
  • Create better access to basic services
  • mprove the local environment
  • Enable greater community cohesion
  • Foster greater community pride and empowerment

Match funding is required. Power to Change would like to see their funding ‘unlock’ other funding. Competition will be high so groups should make sure they get in as much funding for their project as possible. This could include a range of different sources including crowdfunding and community shares, other grants, loans and ‘in-kind’ support that is free but which groups might have otherwise had to pay for.

Applicants must start the application process by completing the eligibility checker on the MyCommunity website (https://mycommunity.org.uk/funding-options/bright-ideas-fund/) 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.

The guidance notes, frequently asked questions, and the online application form can be found on the Locality website (https://mycommunity.org.uk/funding-options/bright-ideas-fund/).

There will be additional funding rounds in:

  • August – September 2019.
  • February 2020 – April 2020.
  • August – September 2020.
  • February 2021 – March 2021.

For more information contact Locality on brightideas@locality.org.uk.

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