Community Shares Booster Fund Offers a Range of Support for Community Businesses in England

Funding to support new and existing community businesses in England that are at all stages of a community share issue.

The Community Shares Booster Fund is provided by Power to Change and Architectural Heritage Fund and delivered in partnership with and delivered in partnership with Coops UK, Locality, Plunkett Foundation and Co-operative and Community Finance.

The Booster Fund which relaunched recently now offers the following support to community businesses based in England:

  • Pre-grant support: A few days support for early-stage activity to get started.
  • Development grants of between £2,000 and £10,000, averaging around £5,000, to prepare a community share offer. This support can cover financial planning, governance support, marketing costs and being assessed for the Community Shares Standard Mark.
  • Equity match investment ranging from £10,000 to £100,000, although the typical investment is expected to be £20,000 to £50,000. This is an offer of investment to match money raised from the community, providing the minimum share offer target is achieved. Applications for equity match are open to community businesses that are investment ready, including those that have already launched their share offers.
  • Subscription underwriting: If affordability is an issue for community investors, Co-operative and Community Finance (CCF) can offer an interest-free repayable loan to enable people to buy shares through instalments over a maximum of 12 months, with the society receiving the full investment upfront.
  • Loan finance: may be available from Co-operative and Community Finance (CCF).

Successful applicants will also get free membership of Co-operatives UK for a year.

New and existing community businesses may apply. Priority will be given to:

  • Disadvantaged, less affluent and under-represented communities, particularly minoritised ethnicities, young people and communities facing systemic inequality.
  • Projects that meet critical needs of their communities. There is particular interest in project that address climate change issues and digital inclusion.

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. There is a two-stage application process.

Expressions of Interest can be made at any time.

(This report was the subject of a GRANTfinder Newsflash.)