Community businesses - funding to help you trade for the benefit of your locality


There is funding available for organisations that trade for the benefit of their village, estate, town, or city. By ‘trading’ we mean selling a product or service, and this includes community associations and halls with a building for hire.

‘Community business’ is a phrase used by an organisation called Power to Change. They have a large funding pot from the National Lottery, with the aim of supporting community businesses in various ways including through the Community Business Fund grant scheme.

The Fund opens on 24 April and offers grants of £50,000 – £300,000 to cover a wide range of costs. Its aim is to help community businesses move towards self-sufficiency, through (for example) increasing their trading income, securing an asset or significantly reducing revenue costs. Only organisations that are a corporate body of some sort can apply (so not unincorporated trusts or associations) and full details are on the Power to Change website.

Power to Change is running a free online seminar (a webinar) from 2:00 to 3:00pm on Thursday 25 April. If you can, get on board and find out more about the Community Business Fund – register here.

The Co-op Foundation is also offering interest-free loans of up to £50,000 for similar purposes, so check out this funding opportunity too.

Community Business Weekend

Running from Thursday 16 to Sunday 19 May, Community Business Weekend is an England-wide celebration of the difference this growing sector of the economy is making in local communities.

Action Hampshire will be marking the occasion and we’d love to hear from you if you would like to get involved as well. Please email Kevin Sawers or call 01962 857358.

Do also sign up for updates on the national campaign and get your community business on the map! This is a great opportunity to publicise your organisation and the events that you’re planning, and to connect with a wider network of like-minded people.