Power To Change help community businesses to flourish and have recently made their first match fund pledge on Crowdfunder.co.uk to support Norwich Mustard; a community owned cooperative that will make mustard in Norwich after Colman’s leave.
Power To Change are all about supporting community groups that are looking to set up community businesses because they believe that they are at the heart of making places survive, grow and stay vibrant for local people. Through their match funding scheme with Crowdfunder.co.uk, they are offering up to £6,000 to community groups doing just this, and have recently made their first pledge to support Norwich Mustard in developing their community owned cooperative that will make mustard in Norwich after Colman’s leave.
Robert Ashton, project owner and driving force behind Norwich Mustard, said, “Norwich Mustard grew from the anger that people were expressing about the closure of Colman’s in Norwich. Mustard production had been in the city for more than 150 years and so a number of us decided to do something positive and start this new cooperative venture. Crowdfunding to fund the development of a business plan was to be the acid test. Interest and concern alone cannot create a new venture. We needed the people of Norwich to show their commitment.”
For Norwich Mustard to come into fruition as a community owned asset, there needs to be careful thought and detailed planning – and that’s exactly what their crowdfunding campaign set out to achieve. This initial crowdfunding project will now pave the way for their community share issue this Spring, and it is this foundation building that Power To Change particularly want to support.
With the help of the Crowd and Power To Change, Norwich Mustard are now in the position to set up their new organisation, build a team and most importantly, prepare a plan that will make sure that they succeed – keeping the organisation rightly in the hands of the people of Norwich. Their goal isn’t to compete with Colman’s, but rather to create a truly local, 21st century brand of mustard.
Vidhya Alakeson, CEO Power to Change (the independent trust supporting community businesses in England), said, “We’re excited that Norwich Mustard is the first to benefit from our innovative new fund. By match-funding the money raised locally through crowdfunding, Norwich Mustard can test the appetite (literally in this case!) and viability of the community business amongst local people before embarking on a community share offer. As a community business, it can then stay rooted in the local area, run by and answerable to members of the community, and make a trading profit to re-invest back into that community.”
Robert also went on to say, “Securing the promise of match funding from Power to Change made all the difference. It showed our Crowd that others were taking us seriously. People could see that their donation would be matched, and that helped too. The result was frankly humbling. 184 people pledged and we raised 30% more than our target. This, plus of course the Power to Change grant, means that we can do much more than simply produce a plan. The grant means that people will be able to taste Norwich Mustard this year and that will encourage them to support our community share issue. That in turn will guarantee that in 2019, our supporters will be tasting locally grown mustard, that has been processed and packed in Norwich.”
Want to know more?
Are you part of a group which has a plan to set up a community business such as a pub, shop, woodland, community centre, energy project or sports facility? Do you need to undertake a community share issue to raise the money to make it happen? Then this fund is for you.
This fund will help pay for the crucial things like building surveys, producing and printing share offer documents, getting legally registered and so on. It will also help you start the crucial work of engaging your potential investors, by testing the water before diving in to the work needed to launch a share offer.
Power To Change will match fund eligible projects at 50% (potentially more in deprived areas) of the amount needed to get your share offer up and running, to a maximum of £6,000, as long as you can raise the rest through crowdfunding.