Report: What kind of support do community businesses in Liverpool City Region need?

The answer? Community businesses require tailored, high-quality support that recognises they are both commercially and socially driven organisations.

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In summer 2019, Power to Change commissioned Capacity: The Public Services Lab to research what support is needed and what is currently available to the community business (socially trading organisations) sector in Liverpool City Region. We looked at support provided from the voluntary, public and private sectors.

Already working to support a range of community businesses with governance, business planning, funding and more, but with dedicated Engagement and Impact Teams, we were passionate about completing this piece of research for Power to Change to help to develop and strengthen the community business sector.

Over three months we gathered the views of more than 30 community businesses from across Liverpool City Region, asking them about the support that they receive and whether it provides what they need and if not, what would fix this.

We quickly found that the support sector wasn’t delivering what community businesses really needed, nor fully understanding that community businesses are just that – businesses. They are trading organisations that also work socially, but the current support available often does not take into account both of these factors can be present within the same organisation.

The below report details the findings and recommendations for providing the sector with better support than is currently available, using a ‘life course’ model we have created. This model will give a more tailored, flexible and consistent approach to support across types of organisation and their geography in the City Region.

We believe that better business support will have positive outcomes on the community business sector and increase not only the number of community businesses, but also their success.

We’d love to hear your thoughts and comments about our findings. To do so, please contact our Project Manager, Hetty Wood at hetty.wood@capacitylab.co.uk.

To read the full report, please follow the link below:

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Capacity: The Public Services Lab
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Email: Grace.Nolan@capacitylab.co.uk
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