Do you have a local community asset but don’t know what it could be turned into? Or a community business idea that you don’t know how to get off the ground? If you are a community group or organisation who would like to set up a community business but need a bit of support, then this fund is for you.

The £1.85 million Community Business Bright Ideas Fund will offer around 80 community groups, who work in England, with up to 15 days of tailored support and grants of up to £20,000 to develop their budding community business ideas. Jointly funded by Power to Change and the Department for Communities and Local Government, the two-year programme will be delivered by a consortium including Co-operatives UK, Plunkett Foundation and Groundwork UK, led by Locality.

Find out more on the MyCommunity website

The second round of the Community Business Bright Ideas Fund will reopen on 19 April and a FAQS webinar on 11 April. There will be additional rounds in September 2017 and February 2018. Have a look at the guidance in the meantime.

What is the aim of Bright Ideas?

The Community Business Bright Ideas Fund aims to give community groups the support and tools to start setting up their community business. It will also give them early stage finance they need to carry out consultation with local people and feasibility.

Join our FAQs webinar on 11 April for more information or read the guidance to find out if you are eligible.

How can I apply?

To apply, you need to answer a few questions which will determine whether you are eligible for Bright Ideas. You can find this at: http://mycommunity.org.uk/funding-options/bright-ideas-fund/

If you are eligible to apply you will be automatically sent a link by email to the application form. Read the guidance to check if you are eligible.

The next round of Bright Ideas Fund will open on 19 April 2017 and close on 31 May 2017 at 10am.

What does Bright Ideas offer?

If your application to join the Bright Ideas programme is successful, you will receive a comprehensive programme of support including:

  • Online induction and ongoing support either online, by phone or where possible through visits
  • Community business development plans to help successful groups shape and develop strategies and plans for their community business
  • Mentoring and visits to inspire applicants and give them the opportunity to learn from peers
  • Regional networking and events to learn from social finance experts, successful community business leaders, funders and technical specialist

Participants will also be able to apply for a grant of up to £20,000 to put all this great advice into action, and their community business idea into reality.

Key dates for the Bright Ideas Programme

11 April: FAQs webinar – register

19 April: Second window opens for applications

31 May: Second window closes at 10am

September 2017: Third window opens

February 2018: Fourth window opens

Need help?

Have a look at the answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), get in touch via the Helpcentre, or ask questions on the Forum. Help is at hand!