Power to Change Update 19/6/2024

power to change
power to change
A community-powered vision for a new government 

With the general election campaign well underway, the next government must harness the power and potential in our communities to build a stronger economy and fairer society. 

Community businesses ensure communities have the power to change what matters to them. They help build better places and fairer local economies. They also strengthen the social bonds that make communities resilient through tough times.

Read how the government can give communities the right powers, resources and support to thrive
Read the blog

Do manifestos matter?
The political parties have laid out their plans in their party manifestos.
Nick Plumb breaks down what the pledges mean for community business in our latest blog.
Quick read

Tell us about the issues affecting your community business
With a general election on the horizon, it’s more important than ever that we have an accurate picture of the community business market.

Share your thoughts via the Community Business Market Survey so we have the right evidence to call for change.

You’ll be entered into a chance to win a share of a £1,000 prize draw for your community business. If you received a bespoke link from CFE Research, you will have some information pre-filled.
If you didn’t receive one of these please use the link below.
Take the survey

A manifesto for the age of localisation 🗯️What must the next government do to give community businesses the right powers, resources, and backing?

Our ideas include:

A Community Power Act  
Community Wealth Fund  
Community Right to Buy  
British High Street Investment Vehicle  
A successor to Social Investment Tax Relief

Read our manifesto

Putting communities at the heart of our future economy
Our trustee and We Can Make founder, Mellissa Mean, blogs about how communities can lead the change to financing the future economy.

Find out about the barriers they face and the practical steps decision-makers could take to dismantle these barriers.
Read the blog

Respect can provide the thread that pulls together Labour’s policy offer
Our Policy Manager, Josh Westerling, has written for the UCL Policy Lab on why respect has emerged as a key theme in the election campaign.
Quick read

Social investment that serves communities 
Community businesses tell us they spend too much time and energy seeking the blend of finance they need. To bolster communities, investors need to seek out and embrace new financial models.

Read the blog


Cost-of-living and climate resilience: the Resilient Communities Fund 
Community businesses are at the forefront of addressing the cost-living crisis and local impacts of climate change.

The Resilient Communities Fund acted at pace to support them.
We partnered with New Local to evaluate the fund.
Here’s what we learned.
Read more

Taking Back Control:
Proposals for how to give power and agency back to our communities 
We partnered with Demos on a new report on empowering communities. 
Foundational power is achieved by developing and strengthening community-led institutions. The paper proposes a range of policy interventions including:

A British High Street Investment Vehicle
Community Improvement Districts
Community Power Act
Creating the office of a Community Power Commissioner
Quick read
Resources & opportunities

Do you believe that community businesses are vital to building a stronger, fairer, greener economy?  
Join us by calling on political and business leaders to push community businesses up the general election agenda.
Please sign and share the mission statement, tagging your parliamentary candidates if you can.  
Invite political candidates to your organisation: there’s still time for them to see your work in action, use the simple online tool to contact your candidates.
Share your story: you are proof that another way of doing business is possible. Sharing examples of your impact shows our political leaders why they should support mission-led business. Use the campaign graphics when posting on social media about how your work is #FixingTheFuture. 
Campaign toolkit

Trustee recruitment
As we move forward with our vision for community businesses, we are looking for two new trustees to join the Board of Trustees at Power to Change.

We are seeking one trustee with a background and experience of working at a senior level within the public sector and one trustee with community business experience.

Deadline: Monday 24 June 2024 

Did you miss our launch event for ‘Financing the future economy’? 
The event explores how community businesses can access the right finance to achieve their ambitions, delving into findings from the ‘Financing the future economy report’
Watch it back

Passport to Investment
Crowdfunder have a new tool tool that can help community businesses to access social investment.

Through Passport to Investment you can create a Financial Passport containing the key information an investor expects, plus live data from a crowdfunding project. This can be shared easily with potential investors, making community businesses more visible to social investors.
Take a look

Share your thoughts on technology and AI 
The University of Essex and Promising Trouble are exploring the needs, challenges, and aspirations of community businesses regarding technology and AI.
Respondents to the the 15 minute survey will be invited to hear the results of the research at an online event.
Take the survey

Upcoming events

Funding options and opportunities Wednesday 26 June, 6.30pm – 7.45pm 
Is your community group looking for funding?
Join this free webinar to get an overview of your options and opportunities during the Community Ownership Fund suspension.
Sign up

Measuring Social Value workshop
11 and 12 July, 9:30am – 12:30pm each day
As well as being able to demonstrate your social value to funders or potential investors, measuring social value will enable you to measure the effectiveness of your organisation and see where improvements can be made.
Book here

Trading for Good: 
A new programme of support by the School for Social Entrepreneurs. With a group of others like you, you will learn from the experts, and each other, to grow your community business. You will also receive a Match Trading™ Grant that combined with the learning programme will support you to develop trading income streams and build a resilient community business. Deadline: 24 July

Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities – Community Ownership Fund:
The Community Ownership Fund has closed for applications due to the general election. If your group had submitted an Expression of Interest (EOI) since March 2024, then you will be on the mailing list to receive any future updates.
Closed for applications

Find out more

Investing in Spaces and Places Grant from Asda Foundation: 
A new £1m fund from the Asda Foundation, supporting grassroots community groups to transform spaces at the heart of their local community.
Deadline: 28 July 
Find out more

Energy efficiency sharematch:
A new fund is supporting community businesses to ‘go green’. Cooperatives UK, Crowdfunder and Access are supporting community benefit societies investing in low carbon measures for their business via community shares offers.

Open for applications
Find out more
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