Community Business

This section contains practical case studies, how to- guides and other resources to help you create a community business. It is especially good for beginners who want to learn about possibilities for start ups or for people that want to change their business model. You will also find information on local social enterprise networks that can help you every step of the way.

 

See our 'knowledge hub' for more useful resouces:

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Tell us if you think something is missing or you have a case study you would like to share with us. If you have an idea get in touch and we can probably signnpost you to the right people to talk to.

Lets dive in!

What is community business?

What is community business?

Explained by Power to Change

Enhance Social Enterprise Network

Enhance Social Enterprise Network

The Enhance programme supports social enterprise network development across Devon, Plymouth, Torbay and Somerset. Creating strong social enterprise networks help develop a healthy ecosystem for social enterprise growth and development. - Find a business on the Social Enterprise interactive map. - Shop Social. Find a local Social Enterprise to purchase goods and services from. - Access amazing networking and training events

Essence Social Enterprise Exeter

Essence Social Enterprise Exeter

Essence is an active peer support network for (aspiring) social enterprises and those supporting a social economy.

Torbay Local Spark

Torbay Local Spark

Bringing you Torbay Social Enterprise Network, a 'Local Entrepreneur Forum' community focused 'dragons den' inspired events, and more.

Plymouth Social Enterprise Network

Plymouth Social Enterprise Network

Plymouth Social Enterprise Network represents all kinds of social enterprises including co-operatives, community interest companies, charities, community businesses and more. All are joined by a common bond – that of doing business for a good cause.

SW Procurement Portal

SW Procurement Portal

The South West Procurement Portal provides a user friendly, intuitive process to advertise all open tenders and quotation opportunities for councils in the South West. The procurement portal is FREE to join for businesses. Register on their website.

South West Mutual

South West Mutual

South West Mutual aim to establish the first high street cooperative bank for the South West of England. Cornwall, Devon, Dorset & Somerset. Visit their website to stay up to date with ways to support and get involved in establishing the first regional bank that aims to support local people and community business.

Local Investing

Local Investing

Article with further reading and resources from Reconomy Centre Totnes

How to set up & run a Local Entrepeneur Forum

How to set up & run a Local Entrepeneur Forum

Article, further reading and how to guide from Reconomy Centre Totnes, how to guide published by Stir Magazine

Article by Co-operantics

Article by Co-operantics

the what, why and how of multi-stakeholder cooperatives with three case studies image courtesy of http://bcca.coop/momentum/info-centre/multi-stakeholder-co-ops

What are the 'Somerset Rules'?

What are the 'Somerset Rules'?

'Somerset Rules' for Multi-stakeholder Cooperatives explained image courtesy of http://bcca.coop/momentum/info-centre/multi-stakeholder-co-ops

Video (1 hour 30 mins)

Video (1 hour 30 mins)

Setting up and running cooperative sales & purchasing models for farmers- Webinar from Landworkers Alliance union about multi-stakeholder food cooperatives with inspiring case studies with Helen Woodcock of the Kindling Trust about Manchester Veg People and Danny Fisher of the Better Food Shed London How can different farms work together to run cooperative sales / purchasing systems? What are the benefits of these systems? How can we make them sustainable? How can we make them successful?

Equal Care Co-op

Equal Care Co-op

A new model for social care- a multi-stakeholder cooperative

Examples of Multi-Stakeholder Coops

Examples of Multi-Stakeholder Coops

Examples of Multi- Stakeholder Coops that use the 'Somerset Rules'. From land and property to transport to renewable energy and energy saving, IT, user led organisations and food/ horticulture. image courtesy of http://bcca.coop/momentum/info-centre/multi-stakeholder-co-op

Somerset Rules Template

Somerset Rules Template

'Somerset Rules' for Multi-stakeholder Cooperatives TEMPLATE RULES for start-ups If you are registering a social enterprise, consider using these new rules. They have a number of advantages that you may benefit from. image courtesy of http://bcca.coop/momentum/info-centre/multi-stakeholder-co-ops

Video (40 mins)

Video (40 mins)

#RegenerateDevon This session showcase's enterprises who have put ecological regeneration at the core of their work, from the sectors of energy, housing, transport, neighbourhoods and farming. Speakers: Host - Emily Reed - Devon Emergency - Devon County Council Ayesha Tandon - Climate Science Communicator - MET Office Alistair Macpherson - CEO - Plymouth Energy Community Mark Hodgson - Managing Director - Co-Cars Marina O'Connell- Director- Apricot Centre & Huxhams Cross Farm

Devon Community Energy Network

Devon Community Energy Network

The Devon Community Energy Network brings together community organisations, local authorities, businesses and other to work towards a sustainable future for our community. Find resources and how to get involved in community energy projects in Devon. Their goal is collaboration: to grow community energy across Devon as an exemplar for energy decarbonisation, decentralisation and democratisation.

Podcast (1 hour)

Podcast (1 hour)

Regenerative Livelihoods podcast, Finn Weddle interviews Oliver Bettany, Membership & Engagement Manager at the Ecological Land Co-operative- a community benefit society that matches agro-ecological farmers with land, their first site Greenham Reach in Mid Devon has been a huge success.

GO-OP travel co-op

GO-OP travel co-op

Go-co is to be the first co-operatively owned train operating company in the UK. Their ambitions go beyond just being an operator of timetabled train services on the National Rail Network. GO-OP will also support the development of car clubs, bus links and travel hubs to enable communities to access sustainable transport options. GO-OP is a South West based Multistakeholder Co-operative Society (Somerset Rules), registered under the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Acts.

Small Farm Profits

Small Farm Profits

Small Farm Profits, a short booklet made up of small farm case studies, demonstrates that small-scale, ecological farms in the UK can, and do, make a profit. This includes four case studies in Devon.

Video (11 mins)

Video (11 mins)

#RegenerateDevon showcase: Amazing employers for meaningful livelihoods | Charlotte Tickle | Riverfood Organic Veg Charlotte Tickle is the People and Culture Director of Riverford Organic Vegetables, an ethically-driven business with the aim to be an outstanding place to work. In 2018 it 74% of Riverford became owned by an Employee Trust, benefiting all employees equally.

Video (27 mins)

Video (27 mins)

#RegenerateDevon summit showcase: Innovation and entrepreneurship in the DNA. Three case studies of entrepreneurs who have created ground-breaking approaches in the face of challenge. Speakers: Host - Julie Hawker - Joint Chief Executive - Cosmic Nick Peres - Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust Alison Sallis - CEO - Proper Job Tony Gorniak MBE - Creative Director - Street Factory

Video (1 hour)

Video (1 hour)

'Mutual aid to coops' session from Stir to Action festival playground for the new economy. Amardeep Dhillion is an editor for Red Pepper magazine, & a bartender/Branch Secretary at the Ivy House Union. COVID-19 has seen communities rally to support each other in an unprecedented manner, with thousands of Mutual Aid Networks have springing up, offering shopping & prescriptions delivery, hot food provision, peer-to-peer mental health support, &a host of other services. Co-operative thinking has..

Union Coop UK - Manifesto Launch

Union Coop UK - Manifesto Launch

Union Coop UK - Manifesto Launch "Trade unions are at the heart of this idea: a union co-op offers the potential for a 100% unionised workforce, with the union an essential part of the co-op governance. The union co-op model can deliver improved wages and other terms and conditions by eliminating the top slicing that's commonly seen in capitalist enterprises. We have a number of different guest speakers who'll be sharing their thoughts over the course of 90 minutes."

Union coops manifesto

Union coops manifesto

A Manifesto for union co-ops. With a new emphasis on Community Wealth Building. What does the future of work look like? • Will disruptive technologies and automation create a race to the bottom for workers’ rights? • Do we have to accept the gig economy and precarity? • Can we achieve democracy and fairness in the workplace and fight in-work poverty without the broader labour and union movement?

Change The Rules

Change The Rules

We need to build back better after the shock of coronavirus, but the foundations are already here. Discover inspiring projects across the UK and the rules we need to change to build a better future. A website by the New Economics Foundation.

Do-ocracy Handbook

Do-ocracy Handbook

REconomy projects Do-ocracy Handbook by Mark Simmonds looks at organisational forms and legal structures might be just what you need. The how-to guide is packed with information and resources covering legal options, governance arrangements, tax compliance, charitable status and much more.

Start a co-op

Start a co-op

A range of how- to guides for different cooperatives: Start a Credit Union Start a Food Co-op Start a Housing Co-op Start a Worker Co-op Start an Energy Co-op Simply Start Up

Preparing the Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise Sector (VCSE) for the Social Value Act

Preparing the Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise Sector (VCSE) for the Social Value Act

This briefing provides a valuable introduction to the Social Value Act for voluntary, community & social enterprise organisations. VCSEs are well practiced at providing added social value through service delivery across many sectors including health, education, housing & transport. The Act creates an opportunity for bidders to demonstrate this to public service commissioners, who asses which potential providers would deliver maximum public benefit to the local community

Start your Social Enterprise guide

Start your Social Enterprise guide

There’s a lot of information out there for start-ups, and this Social Enterprise UK guide takes you through the essentials, they focus on the parts that are most important in a social enterprise. Social enterprises have some unique challenges. For example, in a social enterprise you don’t just have to worry about keeping the customer satisfied. You have to satisfy your social ambitions too – whether that means serving a community, protecting the environment or solving a social problem.

Legal Guidance for Social Enterprises on Discretionary Business Rate Relief

Legal Guidance for Social Enterprises on Discretionary Business Rate Relief

How does discretionary business rate relief apply to your social enterprise? Find out in this handy piece of legal guidance summarising the current legislation on discretionary rate relief. Produced in association with Bates Wells and Braithwaite Solicitors (BWB). Published May 2012.

Cooperatives UK

Cooperatives UK

As the UK’s network for co-operatives, Coop's Uk help new-starts get off the ground, provide specialist advice for growing businesses and lead major programmes to develop the UK co-operative sector.

Stir To Action

Stir To Action

Stir Magazine explores new economic alternatives, where the democratic economy and civic society come together. Stir to Action also provides training, development and the Stir to Action festival: playground for the New Economy. Stir to Action has a new home in Devon.