Bright Ideas Fund

Round 3 is now open until 1 December

  • Updated guidance notes for round 3 are downloadable here
  • You can view the Live Chat on the Bright Ideas Fund, round 3 here
  • There is one significant change to the eligibility criteria:
    • “The community organisation applying must not have been constituted for more than five years at the time of making an application. This is to ensure that we are considering new groups only.”​

Keep update to date on any announcements by signing up to the My Community Digest here.



The Community Business Bright Ideas Fund aims to give your community group the support and tools to start setting up your community business. It will also give your group the early stage finance that you need need to carry out consultation with local people and feasibility studies to develop a community business idea the community wants and needs.

What is a community business?

A community business is set up and led by local people to look after what matters to them. Any profits flow back into the business to deliver positive local impact.

Watch some case studies to hear some community business ideas, or hear from Claire Mappin at the Burton Street Foundation in Sheffield talk about their community business and how it benefits the people of Hillsborough.

What the Bright Ideas Fund offers

  • Online induction and ongoing support, either online, by phone or where possible through visits
  • Community Business development plans, to help successful groups shape and develop strategies and plans for their community business
  • Mentoring and visits, to inspire applicants and give them the opportunity to learn from peers
  • Regional networking and events, to learn from social finance experts, successful community business leaders, funders and technical specialists.

Future key dates

1 December 2017: Round 3 closes for applications

Keep update to date on any announcements by signing up to the My Community Digest here.

What can you apply for?

Our aim is to help organisations explore a project idea; start up a community business, and attract other funding.

Bright Ideas will provide successful organisations with:

  1. Business development support: Up to 12 days of business development support from Locality, Plunkett Foundation, or Co-operatives UK.
  2. Learning, events and peer networking:
    The opportunity to learn from existing community businesses, through visits and events.
  3. Grant funding: The opportunity to apply for a grant of up to £15,000 to develop your idea and/or improve your organisation’s capability, depending on your needs.

Read the Guidance Notes below for full details on the fund before applying.

Bright Ideas Fund Guidance Notes (round 3)

Please read the Guidance Notes thoroughly before applying by clicking on the link below.

Also now available to download as an audio file below.

Please note: Applications to the Eligibility Checker close on 30 November at 5pm.

If you have completed the Eligibility Checker and have been sent an Application form link to your nominated email address, you have until 5pm on 1 December to complete your full application.

Download Bright Ideas Fund Guidance Notes

Apply here

To apply, complete the Eligibility Checker form online by clicking on the link below.

Full detail on how to answer each question is included in the Guidance Notes.

If successful, you will be sent an application link to your nominated email address within 12 hours of submitting the Eligibility Checker form.

Eligibility Checker for Bright Ideas Fund

Frequently asked questions

Got a question? Or haven’t received an email to complete your application?

You can find the answer here in some of the most frequently asked by applicants to the Bright Ideas Fund.

FAQs - Bright Ideas Fund