The growing community business sector

Independent trust Power to Change has launched a campaign entitled Community Business Matters with a series of films to mark the countdown to this year’s Community Business Weekend and give an insight into how community businesses across the country are helping to tackle some of society’s biggest problems including loneliness, lack of training and employment opportunities and poor mental health.

Power to Change CEO Vidhya Alakeson said: “The beauty of community business is that anyone can get involved, from setting one up, to becoming a shareholder, trustee, volunteer, employee or valued customer. One of our core priorities at Power to Change is to help communities to harness the skills, leadership and entrepreneurialism that already exist at the local level. Community Business Weekend is a great way to both celebrate and uncover the skills that can bring vibrancy and economic growth to local areas.”

Community Business Weekend is a national open doors event for raising awareness of the vital work of the 7,800 community businesses in England. In 2018 more than 17,000 people visited 225 community businesses over the course of the event. Many of these visitors are now volunteers, regular customers and even shareholders of those businesses.

New research from Power to Change shows that the community business sector is growing, hiring and showing high levels of confidence, with 7,800 community businesses recorded in operation in 2018, employing 33,600 people and 158,000 volunteers and contributing £1.05bn to local economies.

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