Funding for community businesses to launch community shares offers


Funding is available from the Community Shares Booster programme, managed by Power to Change, to help community businesses that are either planning to make or have recently launched community shares offers. Match funding of up to £100,000 in equity investment is available, made on equal terms with other community shareholders. Development grants of up to £10,000 are also available to help societies get investment ready and meet standards of good practice.

Community shares are a great way for communities to take ownership of local assets or develop new services for community benefit. Community shares are non-transferrable, withdrawable share capital that provide community businesses much needed money to start, to grow, and to be sustainable.

The programme can provide:

  • Development grants of up to £10,000 to help societies get investment ready and meet standards of good practice
  • Match funding up to £100,000 in equity investment made on equal terms with other community shareholders, into societies that demonstrate higher than average levels of community engagement, innovation and impact
  • Ongoing support and advice as an active investor in community businesses

You must have a charitable purpose at the heart of the project you’re asking us to fund, which meets charitable needs in your community. Your organisation must be able to address one of these identified charitable purposes:

  • The prevention or relief of poverty
  • The advancement of education
  • The advancement of citizenship or community development
  • The advancement of the arts, culture, heritage or science
  • The advancement of amateur sport
  • The promotion of religious or racial harmony or equality and diversity
  • The advancement of environmental protection or improvement
  • The relief of those in need, by reason of youth, age, ill-health, disability, financial hardship or other disadvantage

In addition, your project must be able to demonstrate at least one of the seven core impact areas:

  1. Reduce social isolation
  2. Improve health and wellbeing
  3. Increase employability
  4. Create better access to basic services
  5. Improve local environment
  6. Enable greater community cohesion
  7. Foster greater community pride and empowerment

To find out more about community shares, as well as various other potential funding sources, check out our guide ‘Where to Access Funding’.

About The Fund

Area: England.

Suitable for: Registered societies (a cooperative, a community benefit society or a charitable community benefit society).

Funding size: An initial development grant of up to £10,000 to help you prepare your community share offer, followed by the chance to secure matched investment of up to £100,000 for your share offer.

Application deadline: Applications can be submitted at any time.

Read more about this funding opportunity.

About the Author:

Keir is a project officer based in Semble's Bristol office. Most of his time is spent on two of our movement campaigns, Outdoor Classroom Day and Backyard Nature. One of Keir’s main interests is food equality and outside of Semble he runs a small community food waste project.