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The Bright Ideas Fund supports new community business ideas through the start-up and planning stages with tailored business support, to the implementation stage with grants of up to £15,000.

The Bright Ideas Fund is funded by Power to Change, the independent trust supporting community businesses in England, and delivered by Locality, the national network for community organisations, in partnership with Co-operatives UK, the Plunkett Foundation and Groundwork UK.

The Bright Ideas Fund application is now closed.

There will be additional funding rounds in:

  • February 2020 – April 2020,
  • August – September 2020,
  • February 2021 – March 2021.

Watch the Bright Ideas Fund webinar

The webinar for Round 6 funding took place on Tuesday 16 July at 11am. You can watch the recording here.

The webinar will help you understand what the Community Business Bright Ideas Fund is about and whether you can apply. It runs through what the programme offers, the criteria, application process and have examples of what we’ve funded in previous rounds.

Please read the guidance notes thoroughly before applying. They will help you to decide whether you are eligible for the community business idea you have in mind and whether the Power to Change Community Business Bright Ideas programme is right for you.

The guidance notes include information about the types of community businesses that Bright Ideas is designed to support, as well as the criteria that will be used to assess applications.

The guidance also includes the application form questions along with information that will help you to complete the application form.

1. Complete the eligibility checker

You must complete the eligibility checker in order to apply for the Bright Ideas Fund. The checker will determine whether you are eligible to apply for the funding.

The eligibility checker is now closed. It will reopen with the next funding round in February 2020.

2. Fill in the application form

If you have successfully completed the eligibility checker, you will receive an email that includes a link to the application form.

You can see what questions the application form will include by going to page 18 of the guidance notes.

The Bright Ideas Fund application is now closed.

There will be additional funding rounds in:

  • February 2020 – April 2020,
  • August – September 2020,
  • February 2021 – March 2021.
Who can apply?

In 2018, Power to Change is committing an additional £0.7m to help launch a further 40 inspiring, locally rooted and community-led businesses.

As before, community groups, associations and organisations who have a good idea for a community business but need advice and a small amount of revenue funding to develop, test and get to the stage of launching their community business can apply.

To be eligible to apply for the Bright Ideas Fund, you must:

  • Be setting up a community business.
  • Be based in England
  • Be an incorporated or unincorporated organisation, but not an individual
  • Have been established for five years or less
  • Have a charitable purpose
  • Ensure your idea is for community benefit
  • Share Power to Change’s impact goals
  • Make your community business accessible and inclusive
When does the Bright Ideas Fund close?

The Bright Ideas Fund application is now closed.

There will be additional funding rounds in:

  • February 2020 – April 2020,
  • August – September 2020,
  • February 2021 – March 2021.
What does the Bright Ideas fund offer?
  1. Community business development support
    Up to 12 days of business development support from Locality, Plunkett Foundation, or Co-operatives UK. The support will be structured in a way that best meets your needs and could involve working one to one or in group sessions with your leadership team. Topics covered could include:
    • incorporation, legal structures and governance
    • community engagement and accountability
    • business planning
    • financial modelling
    • market research
    • community shares
    • getting ready to trade
    • securing and developing an asset
  2. Grant funding
    The opportunity to apply for a grant of up to £15,000 which can be spent on specific activities to develop your community business idea.
  3. Learning and peer networking
    Access to online resources, thematic webinars and the opportunity to visit and learn from existing community businesses.
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