This working paper explores how the concept of sector can be useful for funders to understand and support community businesses. It also presents recommendations for using sector typologies going forward.
While sector trends in the community business market are not always clear to identify, this research shows that sector typologies can nonetheless be beneficial. In particular, they can be helpful in making funding decisions, managing programme, facilitating networks, identifying new market opportunities and understanding the influencing factors that impact the journey of community businesses. Other characteristics – such as the structure of community businesses, and the nature of their services or products – can also complement sector typologies to better understand and support community businesses.
This paper sits alongside findings from a wider evaluation, conducted by Renaisi, of the Power to Change funded programmes Bright Ideas, Trade Up and Community Business Fund (interim report found here and final reports here).