Bright Ideas Fund opening for applications on the 30th September 2016

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Do you have a local community asset that you’ve saved 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 help, the new Community Business Bright Ideas programme is for you.

This exciting new programme will open in September for applications. We’ll be releasing the criteria and a preview of the application form before then – register to be the first to receive them on the website.

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.

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 studies to develop a community business idea the community wants and needs.

The Community Business Bright Ideas Fund will open for applications on 30 September 2016 and will be open until end of November. There will be additional funding rounds in February and September 2017 and February 2018.

We will offer a programme of support and grants of up to £20,000 to develop your community business idea (we envisage average awards to be around £14,000 per organisation). Support includes:  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 specialists.

Who can apply to the Community Business Bright Ideas Fund?

Maybe you have a local community asset that you’ve saved 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.

What happens next?

Sign up to receive the eligibility criteria and more detailed guidance about the fund on the My Community website. We will email you the guidance directly and give you details about our upcoming FAQs webinar.

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