Community business - what's that then?
You might have heard of this new category of economic activity called social enterprise. Action Hampshire is very involved in this – see more on our website. Social enterprises do all manner of different things, and some of them can also be categorised as community businesses.
This is in the Community Buildings section of our website because many community halls and centres could be thought of as community businesses. Your organisation may well meet the so-called four tests of community business, which you can read about here.
And the main reason why this matters is that there is funding for community businesses. For larger, incorporated organisations (i.e. not charitable trusts or associations) the Community Business Fund is open until midday on 9 October for grants of £50,000 and upwards. There is also also the Bright Ideas Fund, which in the past has been open to all kinds of non-profit organisations. Register for updates so you get notified as and when the scheme opens again and why not also sign up for Action Hampshire’s social enterprise updates?
Some recent research has found that even small rural halls might well be classed as community businesses. This means they can apply for community business funding.
They don’t need to use the term in their marketing; indeed the research showed that many village halls would prefer to keep their traditional charity / community image. But it’s good to know about another source of funding and information to help you think about innovative ways of raising your organisation’s impact and income.