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Power to Change Guidance

A quick update for those of you who aim to grow your community businesses and to follow up on a post ( a few weeks ago) about the £10m fund.

Power to Change has now released the funding guidance to apply for the fund which will potentially provide up to 75% of the development costs with a ceiling application of £300,000.

Please note this is a fund that has strict criteria and is aiming to fund sustainable community business development so do check the criteria carefully. In previous rounds only 5% of applications were awarded and a very high proportion were not awarded based on the organisation not meeting the basic community business criteria.

You can download their guidance here http://www.thepowertochange.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Community-Business-Fund-applicant-guidance.pdf



£10m fund to open in April

If you need £50,000 to £300,000 to support your community business to develop and grow then you’ll be pleased to know that the Power to Change £1om grant programme is opening a new funding round on 26th April 2016.

A few pointers:

Power to change is for community business rooted in the community with community ownership (check eligibility here) and in previous rounds it only funded 5% of applicants and more than two thirds of applications dd not meet their criteria. Funding will rarely exceed 75% of overall development costs.

Power to change is expecting this round will be highly competitive and is having further rounds in July and October. the fund expects to award relatively equal acorss each round.

Key dates to note:

  • 5 April: Full criteria will be published on the Power to Change Website the grants helpline will open to help you with your application and any questions you have about eligibility.
  • 19 April: They will host a free Q&A webinar about the programme.
  • 26 April – 1 June: First application window
  • July 2016: Second funding round opens
  • October 2016: Third funding round opens

To register your interest then click here



Want to find out more about the School for Social Entrepreneurs?

The West Midlands School for Social Entrepreneurs is holding an information event ahead of its next round of recruitment. If you’re interested in the programme why not pop along to find out more?

Demand for the Lloyds Bank Social Entrepreneurs Start Up programme at the School for Social Entrepreneurs is high; so they are starting taster and information sessions early for our 2016/17 intake.

The programme provides 15 days of support, a Big Lottery grant of £4000 for participants, plus a mentor from Lloyds Bank over a 12 month period. As a result, demand outstrips the number of places they can offer – around 20 in the West Midlands and 20 in the East Midlands.

Their next programme starts in October 2016 and applications can be made between 1 February and 21 March 2016.

To help you understand more about the programme, decide if its right for you and get some useful tips and guidance on applying, we are running our first ‘taster session’ in Birmingham on 17 December from 5:30 to 8:00 pm.

More information and booking https://ssemidlands.typeform.com/to/irdQlA



SEWM- Social Finance Fair – 1st Oct 2015

Just a quick note to say SEWM’s Social Finance Fair is fast approaching so if you haven’t booked yet then maybe now is the time.

Key speakers include:

  • Nick Temple – Social Enterprise UK and Chair of the Social Investment Forum
  • Melanie Mills – Big Society Capital – Social Sector Engagement Director
  • Kieron Boyle – The Cabinet Office – Head of Social Investment
  • Seb Elsworth – The Foundation for Social Investment – Chief Executive

As well as hearing from these key speakers, there are a series of master classes and a a host of exhibitors including:


Aston Reinvestment Trust |Big Lottery Fund | Big Society Capital |Black Country Reinvestment Society |Blue Sky Corporate Finance | CAF Venturesome | Charity Bank |Cogent Ventures | Crowdpatch | FSE Group CIC | Harris Accountancy | Locality | PwC | Resonance | Social Investment Business | SSE Midlands | The Key Fund | Triodos Bank | Unity Trust Bank

The event is being held at Birmingham Voluntary Service Council’s Conference Centre, just a few minutes away from New Street station (which as some of you will know is now called Grand Central) which opened yesterday (20th September 2015) after a five year £600m re-vamp, so perhaps worth a visit too!


Social Investment Tax Relief Made Simple – Free Webinar

Our friends at Big Society Capital have asked us to highlight this training which is aimed at advisors who provide support to other groups.

An overview of the things you need to know to understand how SITR can offer a route to raising funds for the organisations you work with.

 DATE: Tuesday 29th September 2015

TIME: 11am

DURATION: 45 minutes

As part of Big Society Capital’s GET IT initiative, we are hosting a free webinar for providers and advisors that work with trading charities and social enterprises to help them understand the opportunities that Social Investment Tax Relief (SITR) brings to the sector. BWB Consultant, Neil Pearson, is our SITR expert and will provide a 30 minute walk through of who, what and when SITR can be used. This will be followed by 15 minutes of Q&A time.

Further free CPD accredited events will be offered to those advisors who after the webinar feel they would benefit from a more detailed understanding of SITR.

If you are interesting in participating in this webinar, please sign-up here.

Please contact Esther Blake on eblake@bigsocietycapital.com for any further questions.


Young entrepreneurs get creative and talk business, finance and marketing

TMC Group shot ammended TMC Ben and Jordan





^Above clockwise, Dave Lane, Ben Glover, Jordan Singh, Chris Bregg and Jade Webb (Just seen). Right, Ben Glover and Jordan Singh.

Following a series of 2 workshops, delivered by Development in Social Enterprise CIC, The Mighty Creatives and DYNAMIC Marketing, at the Creative Seed Hub in Leicester, 6 young entrepreneurs from the Leicestershire area attended to talk business and gain valuable advice on how to set up their business, how to market themselves and finance their business.

The first workshop was delivered by Development in Social Enterprise CIC and The Mighty Creatives, where Dave Lane, CEO of DISE, gave advice about business plans and thinking about the ideas and processes involved with starting up a business.

The entrepreneurs were given the opportunity to pitch their business ideas to the group and gain feedback about their ‘elevator pitch’. An elevator pitch is a 60 second pitch you make to a group or individual about your business and your ideas. It was important for the delegates to understand that they only had 60 seconds to impress a potential business client or partner, and they had to think about refining their pitches down to a succinct and clear form, to appeal to prospective customers in their first minute of meeting.

Pete Moseley of The Mighty Creatives gave advice on thinking about the process involved with collating information and creating ideas to create the business. For example, making the entrepreneurs think about what they need to say and do, where to get information from, or how they think and feel about their business ideas. He also made them think about any ‘pain’ they might encounter, so any potential risks or conflicts involved with their business ideas.

The day ended by touching upon some legal structures that would best suit the entrepreneurs business ideas.

TMC Dave Amended< Left – Dave Lane advising on start up costs and financing a business.

The second part of the workshop was delivered by Development in Social Enterprise and DYNAMIC Marketing, where Ranjit Bansal, Marketing Consultant of DYNAMIC Marketing, advised the entrepreneurs about financing and budgets and the importance of marketing and brand power.

Dave got down to the specifics of financial modelling and noted that this was the most important part of business, “if you have no money you have no business”. It was important for the young entrepreneurs to think in detail about their cash flow, expenses and their financial projection. Dave then worked out how much money it could cost to start up a business, by listing all of necessary expenses, including laptop, phone, website, internet, office space, stationary, marketing materials, business cards, travel costs, manufacturing costs, resources for goods and delivery costs.

The delegates were surprised how expensive it can be to start up a business, so Ranjit then offered some advice on where to save money when setting up. She said to “always use your contacts and networks and call in favours to get things cheaper or for free, it would also be useful to exchange services with other businesses, where they might be able to offer you a deal”.

TMC Ranjit ammended< Left – Ranjit Bansal advising on finance and marketing techniques.

Other important notes on finance include always keeping records of your business finances, especially for tax purposes. Taxes were covered in great detail by Ranjit and Dave and informed the delegates to keep a separate account with 25% of profit saved to pay back tax at the end of the year. By having a separate account this ensures none of the money is spent on business use and is saved solely for the end of year tax payment.

Ranjit also delivered a thought provoking brand management presentation, where the entrepreneurs were asked to talk about how they perceived different brands and the power of a brand. For example, the Apple logo was recognised by all because its brand is so powerful and marketing of the apple products has been ongoing for years. Other factors including the type of products they offer and the customer service experience are big drivers of a powerful brand.

The workshop was also being filmed by Simon from Reel Eyes Films , who was collating photographs and video shots for the DISE promotional video.

Follow what Reel Eyes Films are up to on their Twitter page.

Photographs provided by Simon of Reel Eyes Films 03/03/2015.