Bright Ideas Fund

The Bright Ideas Fund is now closed.

The Bright Ideas Fund supports new community business ideas through the start-up and planning stages with tailored business support, to the implementation stage with grants of up to £15,000.

Find out what a community business is.

The Bright Ideas Fund is funded by Power to Change, the independent trust supporting community businesses in England, and delivered by Locality, the national network for community organisations, in partnership with Co-operatives UK, the Plunkett Foundation and Groundwork UK.

The Bright Ideas Fund closed on Tuesday 14 August.

How to apply for funding

1. Read the guidance notes

Please read the guidance notes thoroughly before applying. They will help you to decide whether you are eligible for the community business idea you have in mind and whether the Power to Change Community Business Bright Ideas programme is right for you.

The guidance notes include information about the types of community businesses that Bright Ideas is designed to support, as well as the criteria that will be used to assess applications.

The guidance also includes the application form questions along with information that will help you to complete the application form.

Download the guidance notes - PDF

2. Complete the eligibility checker

You must complete the eligibility checker in order to apply for the Bright Ideas Fund. The checker will determine whether you are eligible to apply for the funding.

The eligibility checker is now closed.


3. Fill in the application form

If you have successfully completed the eligibility checker, you will receive an email that includes a link to the application form.

You can see what questions the application form will include by going to page 16 of the guidance notes.

The Bright Ideas Fund application window has now closed.


View the application questions in the guidance notes - PDF

Who can apply?

In 2018, Power to Change is committing an additional £0.7m to help launch a further 40 inspiring, locally rooted and community-led businesses.

As before, community groups, associations and organisations who have a good idea for a community business but need advice and a small amount of revenue funding to develop, test and get to the stage of launching their community business can apply.

  • To be eligible to apply for the Bright Ideas Fund, you must:
  • Be setting up a community business.
  • Be based in England
  • Be an incorporated or unincorporated organisation, but not an individual
  • Have been established for five years or less
  • Have a charitable purpose
  • Ensure your idea is for community benefit
  • Share Power to Change’s impact goals
Find out more about eligibility in the guidance notes - PDF

What can you apply for?

Bright Ideas will provide successful organisations with:

  • Business development support
  • Grant funding of up to £15,000
  • Learning and peer networking
Find out what you can apply for in the guidance notes - PDF

When does the Bright Ideas Fund close?

The fund closed on Tuesday 14 August 2018.


What does the Bright Ideas fund offer?

  • Online induction and ongoing business 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.

How the Bright Ideas Fund has helped others

In previous rounds, the Fund has helped communities save heritage assets, such as a grade II listed former council run swimming Baths in Balsall Heath, Birmingham which reopened last month and is operating with the support of 50 local volunteers.

The Fund also helped St Ann’s Development Trust get investment ready which led to them teaming up with the London Mayor to purchase a former hospital site in Haringey, ensuring that 50% of homes will be affordable and residents will be involved in every stage of the development process.

Find out how the Bright Ideas Fund has helped others


If none of your questions have been answered by the guidance notes, you can:

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