The Community Shares Booster Programme is a new initiative to support and stimulate public involvement with community share offers in England, particularly in more disadvantaged areas and sectors where community businesses are under-represented.

This new initiative is being delivered by Co-operatives UK and Locality, via the Community Shares Unit (CSU), funded by The Power to Change (PtC) with a contribution of £1 million.

It is intended to be an exploratory programme, in which new and innovative models for community shares can explored through working with a series of groups which receive support at all the key stages, namely: development, offer period and post-launch.

If successful your community group or business could receive a business development support grant up to £10,000 in advance of launching your community share offer. After that, your organisation could have access to up to £100,000 match funding in the form of an equity investment by Co-operatives UK when the share offer goes live.

It is important to show that you meet Power to Change's definition of a community business, so have a look at the information here.

The programme will be looking to support groups that can demonstrate that they match at least one of the following investment propositions, to ensure maximum additionality:

1. Match funding as an incentive

2. Incentivising local membership

3. Encouraging members to invest more

4. Supporting acquisitions

5. Supporting early stage investment packages

6. Opening up new sectors, regions or communities

7. Supporting the transition to open offers

8. Institutional start-ups

9. Supporting medium-term member share subscriptions

The Community Shares Booster programme is now closed. We have supported 15 community businesses develop their community share offers and are providing match-funding. If you are interested in applying to a future programme, then please send a brief register of interest here

If you’d like any further information about the programme, please get in touch with us here or by email: communityshares@uk.coop