Do you have a great business idea that could help tackle problems in your area or realise the potential of where you live? Or, maybe you want to save your local post office or sports facility from closure by turning them into a community business ?

If so, community business could be the answer. Community businesses are set up and led by the local community. Because of this local control they are often more resilient than other business types.

Getting started

Starting a community business is exciting, but can be a daunting prospect. The good news is, there is a lot of support and advice out there.

Below you’ll find some good places to start. This list is not exhaustive and it’s worth contacting your local council, Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) or other community businesses in your area for support.

Setting up a community business can take a long time and won’t be easy. But remember you are not alone – the community is behind you.  Plus, there’s also more than 5000 community businesses in England who’ve managed to set up trading and locally led organisations – so it can be done.

A wood repatriation community business in Tottenham

Business tools

From writing a business plan to sorting out your governance, engaging your community to setting up your accounts, this list of business tools will help you get the basics in place.

Granby - a community business funded by Power to Change in Liverpool

Raising funds

Getting funds will help you develop your business idea, carry out feasibility studies, market research, hire or buy premises, and really get the business going.

If you’re looking for financial support for your organisation or project here is a list of funders that might be able to help.

 

Support providers

There are several support providers who’ve been helping communities develop their ideas into businesses for years. Here is a list of support providers, although do get in touch with your local council and LEP for local support.

Mentoring at Spacious Place

Industry-specific support

Although business principles are similar, running a community pub is different from running a community football pitch. Find a list of some industry-specific support here. You could also look for support from corporate partners in your local area who may be able to give you sound business advice.