When? 8 September 2021, 7:30 - 9:00 p.m.
Recent years have seen an explosion in the number of community businesses, with the sector doubling in size in the last five years. The social investment policy environment, created by the Big Society initiative of Cameron’s coalition, was responsible for much of this growth. The deliberate defunding of civil society created the vacuum and programmes were developed to encourage the social enterprise sector to fill it.
However, in common with most policy initiatives, there have been unintended outcomes:
- Community owned businesses have been mostly run by volunteers who are burning themselves out and are governance time bombs
- Workers have been typically excluded from the governance of these community businesses
- Worker-owned businesses have been disfavoured by funding programmes and tax reliefs associated with social investment, skewing the market away from these models
During the magazine launch we’ll use the current situation as framing to discuss what should happen next, asking:
- Could/should we develop models of community business that include workers?
- Could/should we develop models that are worker owned with community stewardship?
- How can we build on the current situation to build a solidarity economy that works for all?
Join our Stir magazine launch with co-operative and community business advisor Mark Simmonds to discuss his recent article – What Next for Community Business? – in our current Summer 2021 issue.