The £10 million Community Business Fund is providing grants of between £50,000 and £300,000 over three funding rounds to help existing locally based and community-led businesses in England to increase their social impact and make them more viable in the long term.
Projects and organisations must be incorporated, based in England and share the following four key features:
- 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 cafes 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.
Projects must share one or more of the following seven impact goals:
- Reduce social isolation.
- Improve health and wellbeing.
- Increase employability.
- Create better access to basic services.
- Improve local environment.
- Enable greater community cohesion.
- Foster greater community pride and empowerment.
The grants can be used for the following:
- Capital costs including building, vehicles, equipment of significant value, refurbishment costs.
- Project-specific revenue costs like staff costs, professional fees, volunteer costs.
Power to Change will fund up to 75% of revenue costs, up to 75% of the building related capital costs and 100% of other capital costs.
The funding cannot be used for retrospective costs, existing day to day running costs or costs which someone else is paying for, whether in cash or in kind.
The deadline for Round 3 applications is 16 December 2016 (12pm).