Community Shares Step-by-Step is an online tool that enables you to work towards launching a community share offer. It is designed to help anyone considering raising community shares at any stage of development, from those investigating the idea for the very first time, to those who are on the verge of issuing an offer.

This tool is designed in three steps:

  • Step 1: Are community shares the right option? An initial exercise to determine whether community shares are the right option for your group based on your circumstances and plans regarding your business idea, your organisation and your community.
  • Step 2: Getting Ready: If the initial exercise identifies that community shares are right for you, then this phase guides you through the key tasks associated with the business plan, governance and community engagement, to get ready for launching a share offer. 

  • Step 3: Preparing the Offer: Once you have completed all these key tasks, this final phase is an opportunity for you to make sure you have considered everything ahead of launching your share offer. Particularly if you are applying for the Community Shares Standard Mark to demonstrate that your offer meets good practice.

The Step-by-Step tool asks you a series of questions about your plans, specifically focusing on your business idea, your governance arrangements and your work engaging your community.

Once you’ve completed all the questions for each phase, the Step-by-Step tool will produce a report for you, with key recommendations on how to proceed towards the next stage and soon enough launching your community share offer.

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Completing the Step-by-Step Tool

Depending on the development stage of your group, the Tool can be completed all in one go but you are more likely to complete it over time. Completing it in one sitting is likely to take less than an hour depending on whether you have information readily to hand. 

Sections can be completed in any order but you will generally find it more valuable if you follow the sections in turn as it reflects the development stages of working towards a share offer. 

Remember that the tool is designed to be iterative so it is likely you will be revisiting questions on ongoing basis.

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Information you'll need to complete the Tool:

Even when starting out on the first phase of the tool, it will be helpful to have the following information:

  • The rules of your society (if you are incorporated)
  • An overview of the skills and experience of your staff & board
  • Any information you have on your business idea e.g. your products  / services
  • Details about how you are engaging your community
  • Any information on the level of investment required
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Four key tips for completing the Tool:

  1. Be honest with yourself. There are no right and wrong answers, and no prizes for getting "good marks". You will get most benefit from this tool if you complete it fully and honestly. 
  2. Consider completing this tool as a group, and potentially with any adviser that you may be working with. Working through these questions will take a little longer if you discuss it with colleagues, but you will learn more about your organisation and what others think.
  3. Don't worry too long about precisely where to position each slider. A little nudge will not affect things greatly - thinking about what the question means and how you can improve is much more important.
  4. Don't forget to click "Save" to see your report!
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Privacy & security

Community Shares Unit, Community Shares Wales and Community Shares Scotland will store your information securely and will not sell it or otherwise share it with any third party. We may use some of the data you give us for research purposes to help inform our research work but only as anonymised statistical information.