A package of tailored support and grants is available to community groups working in England that want to develop their budding community business ideas.
The Bright Ideas programme is jointly funded by Power to Change and the Department for Communities and Local Government. Over a two-year period, the fund aims to invest £1.85 million and help around 80 community business to progress from ideas to ventures. So far, 49 groups have benefitted from the programme.
The programme provides a tailored community business development support and early stage finance of up to £20,000 for community organisations that are accepted onto the programme.
To be eligible, applicants must be community businesses that are locally rooted, accountable to their local community, are working to benefit their local community and have a broad community impact. Groups must be able to finish their projects by July 2018 when the Bright Ideas programme ends.
Organisations that are accepted on the programme will receive:
- Business development support – between 2 to 15 days of business development support from Locality, Plunkett Foundation, or Co-operatives UK.
- Peer to peer networking – the opportunity to learn from existing community businesses, through visits and event.
- Grant funding – the opportunity to apply for a grant of up to £20,000 to develop an idea and/or improve the applicant organisation’s capability, depending on their needs.
The range of funding is as follows:
- Initial idea stage – grants of between £1,000 and £10,000.
- Pre-venture stage – grants of between £1,000 and £15,000.
- Established stage – grants of between £5,000 and £20,000.
The grants will fund a number of different things, including but not limited to:
- Getting established as an organisation (legal fees, registration fees).
- Knowledge and skills exchanges.
- Reasonable fees incurred in developing their community business idea (community engagement, market research, etc.).
Groups also have the option of applying for business development support and no grant.
The deadline for Round 2 applications is 31 May 2017 (10am).
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