Community businesses can access up to £10,000 and a free learning programme

The Community Business Trade Up Programme, run by the School for Social Entrepreneurs (SSE), in partnership with Power to Change, will open for applications from Tuesday, 17 September until Wednesday, 27 November 2019.

The programme supports the leaders of community businesses with:

  • a fully funded learning programme (12 learning days, spread over nine months)
  • a Match Trading™ grant of up to £10,000
  • a community of supportive peers

The learning programme will help the leaders of community businesses to develop the skills, strengths and networks they need to increase their impact, with a focus on increasing their sales and income from trading. It will run from April to December 2020, and there are places for 80 community business leaders across England who will learn in groups of 10. The programme is delivered by the School for Social Entrepreneurs at seven locations across England.

The Match Trading grant, created by SSE, is a new type of grant-funding that pound-for-pound matches an increase in income from trading. By rewarding sales growth, Match Trading incentivises social organisations to develop their trading base, so they can build stronger futures. The first cohort of the Community Business Trade Up Programme achieved a typical 92% increase in income from trading[1].

Alastair Wilson, CEO of School for Social Entrepreneurs, said: “We’re delighted to partner with Power to Change for a third year, so we can jointly support a further 80 community business in England to grow. Community businesses strengthen local economies and enrich the fabric of society. But running them can be challenging. We’ll help community business leaders develop the skills, strengths and networks they need to improve their sustainability and impact, with the support of Match Trading grants and a learning approach we’ve refined over 21 years.”

Jenny Sansom, Programmes Manager at Power to Change said: “This programme will give a really important step up for relatively new community businesses and help them to focus on their trading activities and long-term sustainability. The first cohort of this kind of funding enjoyed a 92% increase in trading, which is a huge impact. I’m delighted to be opening up this programme for a new group of community businesses.”

The Community Business Trade Up programme has already supported more than 200 community business leaders since 2017.

Community businesses from across England can find out more and apply now until 27 November 2019, at: https://www.the-sse.org/community-business.

Application guidelines for Community Business Trade Up are available here.
Power to Change and SSE will be hosting a free webinar about the programme on Friday, Oct 4 at 11am. To register or watch the recording,
follow this link.

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