Applications are now open for a new support programme aimed at local community businesses: the Community Business Trade Up Programme, run by School for Social Entrepreneurs, in partnership with Power to Change.

The programme supports the leaders of early-stage community businesses with a fully funded 6-month learning programme (consisting of 12 learning days) and a grant of up to £10,000. The focus of the programme is to grow community business’ impact by increasing their sales and trading income, posing a great opportunity for community-focused organisations on the Isle of Wight.

The learning programme runs from January to July 2018 and will support 100 community business leaders across England. They will learn in groups of 10 peers.

The programme is delivered by School for Social Entrepreneurs (SSE) at 8 locations, including Hampshire. SSE has 20 years’ experience of supporting the learning of social entrepreneurs and people running community projects.

Alastair Wilson, CEO of School for Social Entrepreneurs, said:

“We’re delighted to partner with Power to Change to support the learning of community business leaders on the Isle of Wight and across England – people who commit themselves to improving their local areas and nurturing local vibrancy. School for Social Entrepreneurs helps the leaders of organisations doing good to develop the confidence, skills and networks to grow organisations that help people in need and improve communities.”

Mark Gordon, Director of Communications at Power to Change, said:

“Community business is all about exploring new ways to help local areas grow and thrive. This is a great opportunity for new entrepreneurs to look at new ways of doing business and doing good.”

The Community Business Trade Up programme is already supporting 30 community business leaders between May and October 2017. It will support 130 leaders in total in 2017 and 2018.

Community businesses can find out more and apply at

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