Power to Change – Community Business Fund

Grants are available to help locally based and community-led businesses in England to increase their social impact and make them more viable in the long term.

There will be approximately £3 million for Round 7. It is expected that around 17 community businesses will receive funding.

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

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

The fund is is expected to re-open for applications on 11 September 2019. Existing Community Businesses that are incorporated and based in England can apply.

A community business is often set up to tackle a local issue that the community faces together. There are many types of community business but the four key features that they must have are:

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Broad community impact – they benefit the community as a whole and can clearly evidence the positive social impact on the broader community.

Organisations must have at least one year of accounts; this could be management accounts or annual accounts. Organisations that have not been operating long enough to have one year of financial accounts are not eligible, unless it is a subsidiary of an established organisation that can provide at least a year of accounts.

Power to Change will not fund the full costs of the project.

Groups can apply for:

  • 75% of revenue costs for the project e.g. staff salaries, professional fees.
  • 75% of building-related capital costs e.g. purchasing, extending or renovating a building.
  • 100% of other capital costs e.g. the purchase of a vehicle

Applicants should have other sources of funding either confirmed or close to confirmation to show that the project is viable.

The current guidelines, FAQs, and online application form can be found on the Power to Change website – https://www.powertochange.org.uk/.

Applicants can contact Power to Change’s grant partner, UMi, at any point during the application process for free advice and guidance on 0300 1240444 or cbf@weareumi.co.uk.

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