COMMUNITY businesses in the area can now apply for a learning programme and grant funding of up to £10,000.
Applications open today for the Community Business Trade Up Programme, which offers free support and funding from the School for Social Entrepreneurs (SSE), in partnership with Power to Change.
The programme, which has already benefitted the Bread+Roses co-operative project in Bradford, supports leaders of the community businesses with: a fully-funded learning programme, of 12 learning days, spread over nine months; a Match Trading grant of up to £10,000; and a community of supporting peers.
The Bread+Roses project, which runs a cafe, co-working space and art room on North Parade, took part in the programme earlier this year.
Martyn Johnson, general manager of Bread+Roses said: “I strongly recommend an application to the Power To Change Community Trade-up Programme.
"Not only does it come with a good amount of dosh, the programme is exactly what every community business needs, whatever stage they are at!
"The course is well developed and highly engaging, and for us it was a timely opportunity to review what we were doing (and why!) and bring forward new ideas and energy at a crucial stage of our project.”
The learning programme will help the leaders of community businesses to develop the skills, strengths and networks they need to increase their impact, with a focus on increasing their sales and income from trading.
It will run from April to December 2020, and there are places for 80 community business leaders across England who will learn in groups of 10.
The programme is delivered by the School for Social Entrepreneurs at seven locations across England, including York.
The Match Trading grant, created by SSE, is a new type of grant-funding that pound-for-pound matches an increase in income from trading.
Alastair Wilson, CEO of School for Social Entrepreneurs, said: “We’re delighted to partner with Power to Change for a third year, so we can jointly support a further 80 community business in England to grow.
"Community businesses strengthen local economies and enrich the fabric of society. But running them can be challenging. We’ll help community business leaders develop the skills, strengths and networks they need to improve their sustainability and impact, with the support of Match Trading grants and a learning approach we’ve refined over 21 years."
Jenny Sansom, programmes manager at Power to Change said: “This programme will give a really important step up for relatively new community businesses and help them to focus on their trading activities and long-term sustainability. The first cohort of this kind of funding enjoyed a 92% increase in trading, which is a huge impact."
The deadline for applications is November 27. Visit the-sse.org/community-business.