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Community sector trading

The community sector trading course series offers practical learning based on real experience of the ‘nuts and bolts’ of running a business in the community.Cafe Sunlight, Sunlight Development Trust, Kent

The course is delivered through a mix of face-to-face and live online sessions that aim to help participants understand how voluntary and community organisations can develop their trading activities.

Delivery and Learning Style

Understanding enterprise is like art or sport – we believe that people learn best from exploring real examples and practicing their own probing and problem-solving skills. The learning programme consists of a two day residential followed by four live online learning sessions over the following couple of weeks. Each of these sessions are facilitated by community enterprise leaders and will explore real examples of community organisations as well as giving participants the opportunity to practice developing their own ideas.

Who should participate?

Participants can come from voluntary and community organisations who want to consider trading, or their advisers who want to improve the support they offer. Both groups will become more confident and skilled in assessing the viability and sustainability of earned income options.

The course will be of value to:

  • Lead managers of social enterprises and community groups
  • Trustees of small community organisations
  • National, regional and local VCS infrastructure organisations
  • CVSs and local Change Up partnerships
  • Business Link franchise holders
  • Regional social enterprise agencies
  • SKiLD (Skills & Knowledge in Local Development)
  • Non-finance specialist managers and generic workers

What is involved?

Each course programme will consist of a small group of participants called the Action Learning Set who will meet face-to-face at the beginning of the programme for a residential session. The rest of the learning will take place online, through four online Action Learning Sessions over the following couple of months. Each online Action Learning Session will last two hours with a short break and will focus on real examples of community organisations that have developed trading.