Community business in England: learning from the Power to Change Research Institute 2016-17

Document type
Perry, Suzanne; McNabola, Ailbhe; Harries, Richard
Power to Change
Date of publication
1 June 2018
Research Institute Report; No. 17
Community Development and Regeneration
Social welfare
Material type

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This report summarises the findings from the first two years of the Power to Cahnge's Research Institute. Much of the work done over that time was of a ground-clearing nature, laying foundations for future research. Given the breadth of its remit, the Institute began with a process of prioritisation, resulting in three core research questions to guide its early work:

  • What economic models best describe how community businesses work?

  • What governance and organisational structures are most effective for different types of community business?

  • How can “better places” be defined in an intellectually coherent way that can be used to explain the contribution made by community business?

At its current rate of spend, Power to Change expects to have exhausted its endowment by 2022. In line with this, the Research Institute intends to publish two further research compendiums – one in 2020 and one in 2022 – that will capture the state of knowledge at those points. These reports will form a key part of the legacy of Power to Change and will (hopefully) demonstrate both the positive difference community businesses can make to local areas and the benefit of investing in independent research.

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