Community businesses across Cornwall can now apply for a learning programme and a grant matched to their earnings of up to £10k.

The Community Business Trade Up Programme, run by the School for Social Entrepreneurs (SSE), in partnership with Power to Change, is open for applications until February 14. This is the third year the programme has run.

The programme supports leaders of community businesses with:

  • a Match Trading grant of up to £10k
  • a fully funded nine-month learning programme (consisting of 12 learning days)
  • a community of supportive peers

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. By rewarding sales growth, Match Trading incentivises social organisations to develop their trading base, so they can build stronger futures. The first cohort of the Community Business Trade Up Programme achieved a typical 92% increase in income from trading.

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 runs from June 2019 to March 2020 and there are places for 80 community business leaders across England who will learn in groups of ten. The programme is delivered by the School for Social Entrepreneurs at seven locations across England, including Truro.

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.”

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