Community Economic Development (CED) is what happens when members of a geographically defined community take action to ensure that the economy in their area works well for them. It is a process that is led by people living, working and running businesses in that area and may involve any of the following:
- Residents, or representative groups of residents
- Local businesses or groupings of businesses
- Voluntary and community sector organisations working in the area
- Major ‘anchor institutions’ such as businesses, colleges, hospitals, or other key institutions that play a significant role in the local economy
- Credit Unions
- The local authority.
CAN can provide the following services to CED programmes:
- Technical support, for example:
- Developing policy to establish common cause between grass roots initiatives and local authorities
- Developing strategies to retain wealth within a community
- Training people for co-operative and social enterprise
- Diagnostic services and feasibility studies
- Help develop and launch Community Share Offers
- Forming partnerships with ‘anchor institutions’
- Help local authorities acquire 'Co-operative' or 'Social Enterprise' status
- Help access funding
- Work with Credit Unions to enable them to provide various forms of finance to start ups, cash flow support and matched funding
- Assistance with designing and registering any corporate bodies that need to be formed, for example:
- Grass roots co-operatives
- Community businesses
- Enterprise support agencies capable of nurturing local enterprises in various ways.
CAN has worked with a number of CED projects, including recently:
- In partnership with University of Bristol to produce the report Community and economic Development: Bulding Back Strong Bristol Co-operatives
- A project pioneered by Great Yarmouth Borough Council to bring three urban community development initiatives together to support a number of local community-focused enterprises and lay the groundwork for the establishment of a virtual enterprise hub and community college
- A village community enterprise at Little Canfield in Essex involving cultivating local produce, adding value and selling it through a pop-up café, monthly markets, the renovation of a barn as a community asset, bicycle hire, repair and other workshops
- A Big Local project in East London setting up community based businesses
- A community organisation in Milton Keynes, helping them develop their business plan and obtain funding to establish a community hub.
Our Community Economic Development trade sector lead worker is TBA.