Community enterprises are businesses that are set up to improve the lives of people living in the community rather than being purely for profit of the business owners. Often, they are based within the community they serve selling products and services and offering employment to the residents living there.  Community based businesses can range from community cafes and shops, shared energy supply, community gardens and they are self sufficient or aim to be.

Community enterprises:

  • are led by those who will benefit directly from the scheme/project – local stakeholders and members of the community
  • are accountable to the community they serve
  • do not exclude any section of the community they serve – they are inclusive
  • serve specific economic and social needs within the community
  • aim to bring about long-term change that improves communities and the lives of their residents
  • aim to be viable as businesses outside of grants and funds with a business plan that shows how that will happen
  • will have lead partner that is a charity, cooperative or social enterprise
  • reinvest profits and benefits gained within the community

Let us know about your favourite community enterprises.