Putting the community at the heart of your community business.

power to changeEconomic Change is delighted to be announced as an approved consultancy provider for Power to Change. Over ten years, with a £150 million endowment from Big Lottery Fund, Power to Change is supporting community businesses to create better places across England.

The Power to Change definition of a community business is as follows https://www.thepowertochange.org.uk/what-is-community-business/:-

There are many types of community business. They can be shops, farms, pubs or call centres. What they all have in common is that they are accountable to their community and that the profits they generate deliver positive local impact.

The four key features of a community business are:

  • Locally rooted: They are rooted in a particular geographical place and respond to its needs. For example, that could be high levels of urban deprivation or rural isolation.
  • Trading for the benefit of the local community: They are businesses. Their income comes from things like renting out space in their buildings, trading as cafes, selling produce they grow or generating energy.
  • Accountable to the local community: They are accountable to local people, for example through a community shares offer that creates members who have a voice in the business’s direction.
  • Broad community impact: They benefit and impact their local community as a whole. They often morph into the hub of a neighbourhood, where all types of local groups gather, for example to access broadband or get training in vital life skills.

Over the next few weeks we will be creating a range of articles that focus on harnessing the power of a community to help develop your organisation.

DSCF2303Economic Change has a track record of helping local community businesses to put ‘the community at the heart of their community business. We have helped our clients achieve this through:

  • Understanding what the community needs and wants – by supporting market research and business planning – We have worked with community business teams to help them undertake market research with the community and decide on core products and services to develop. This helps to build a solid business plan to build confidence amongst the community, secure funding and become sustainable trading entities.
  • Creating good relationships with community stakeholders – by implementing Client Management Systems and e-marketing tools – We have implemented Salesforce CRM database’s to enable a community business to manage their contacts, interactions and communications with their range of stakeholders. Salesforce CRM offers 10 free user licenses to charities – click here to find out more https://www.economicchange.co.uk/management-systems/
  • Demonstrating the value of the business to it’s community – by helping with impact measurement – We have supported community business teams to define and measure their impact with beneficiaries, volunteers and the wider community, to gather feedback, track the benefits and to demonstrate value to all stakeholders. To see an example of a community centre theory of change click here https://www.economicchange.co.uk/client-feature-community-centre-theory-of-change/

If you are interested in accessing support from Economic Change, then please contact Alex Ritchie at Alex@economicchange.co.uk or call 020 3051 8333

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