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Community businesses present a unique way of truly empowering local people and providing solutions to some of the most significant challenges faced by communities.

From shops and pubs, to community centres and libraries, communities up and down England are coming together to ask, what if we ran it ourselves?

In partnership with Power to Change, Real Ideas Organisation and Sheffield University Management School we are providing a unique training programme designed specifically to support people working in community businesses to develop their leadership skills.

We're now recruiting for participants based in the North of England

We’re looking for 24 committed and enthusiastic people from established community businesses to be part of our next cohort. We'll also be running the programme in the South later in the year. 

How can I apply?

The next programme cohort will run from January to June 2017.

You’ll need to complete two simple application forms by 10th December 2016.

Sign up here to receive more information and the first application form.

How does the programme work?

  • The programme runs over 6 months.
  • You’ll attend a two day training session every month.
  • Each month the sessions will take place in a different location. This way you get to visit other community businesses and learn from what they are doing.
  • You’ll meet people from all over your region working in other community businesses, you’ll share experiences, knowledge and skills.
  • You’ll meet an array of experts in from community business, traditional business and the third sector, as they facilitate the sessions.
  • You’ll become ambassadors for community business and help enable more communities to get involved.
  • Each month we’ll focus on different aspects of leadership and development, from business strategy, to understanding community dynamics, to navigating investment and financing.
  • You’ll also take part in a two day innovation programme which will set you up with an action plan for tackling a challenge or project within your organisation.

How much does it cost?

  • Power to Change are funding the programme, so it is free to participants. However, participants will need to contribute towards their expenses for attending the training sessions.

What do previous participants say?

"You can’t overestimate how much you gain from getting to know a group of leaders from social businesses at a similar stage of development to your own. How they’ve tackled challenges you face, how they embed their ethos into everything they do, how they engage their communities – I’ve found it fascinating.

We’ve been working on refreshing our strategy and the Community Business Leadership course has been really helpful. Providing a space to step back and look at the bigger picture of what we do and why we do it – as well as getting our ideas and assumptions examined by experts in the sector – is extremely useful."

Jenny Coles, Plymouth Energy Community

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