Community Shares: Empowering People and Driving Local Change

This event will examine how to educate, support and empower communities to use community shares, and will help you to understand the tools and resources available to enable this.

Since 2009, 100,000 people have invested over £100m to support community businesses

Community shares can transform local services and community facilities, they have the power to save local shops, fund new clubs and restore community assets – but how do we support communities to utilise community shares to build more vibrant and independent communities?

All enterprises need risk capital to start, grow and be sustainable. However, social enterprises find it difficult to compete due to a lack of this, but community shares provide a mechanism to bridge this gap and allow local people to invest in an enterprise that will benefit their community.

Each community has a unique structure but some face similar challenges, and all communities need support and guidance to be able to do this effectively, working with partners from across sectors to achieve the long-term goal of independence. Join Holyrood on 16 April as we bring together expert speakers and take an interactive and innovative approach to help you support more vibrant, independent communities.

Confirmed speakers

  • Toby Sandison, Programme and Communications Officer, Community Shares Scotland

Key issues we’ll examine with you

  • Understanding community shares and the options available to communities
  • Empowering communities to identify issues and opportunities in their local area and make decisions about how to make positive changes
  • Supporting communities with different demographics and needs
  • Co-ordinating actions and responding to challenges in areas with high levels of disadvantage, and supporting communities to deal with this effectively
  • Supporting community enterprises with capital, leverage, governance and operation so that they can be more sustainable

Who should attend?

  • Community councils
  • Managers, directors, and chief executives of community organisations
  • Director, managers, policy officers of third sector and equality organisations
  • Community planning, business services, planning and health improvement and partnership and commissioning in local authorities
  • Community planning partnerships
  • Private sector working in community regeneration


09:30    Registration and Refreshments

10:00    Welcome and Introduction from Chair

10:05    Session 1: Understanding Community Shares

  • What are community shares and how can they be used to empower communities
  • The tools and resources you need to support community enterprises

11:00    Questions and Discussion

11:20    Refreshments and Networking

11:40    Session 2: Identifying What Communities Need

  • Empowering communities to identify issues and opportunities in their local area and make decisions about how to make positive changes
  • Supporting communities with different demographics and needs

12:20    Interactive Roundtable Discussions

This session will involve delegates thinking about the demographics, geography and needs of the communities they support and how community shares can be used to solve the challenges they are facing.

12:50    Lunch and Networking

13:50    Session 3: Community Shares in Action

In this session we will share examples of successful community-led projects that have been made possible by community shares. We’ll hear the inspiration stories of these enterprises and how they’ve managed to be sustainable and bring their communities together.

14:50    Questions and Discussion

15:20    Closing Remarks from Chair

15:30    Close of Event

*Agenda subject to change


Our events are CPD certified. This event is equivalent to 3 CPD points.
A certificate is available on request post-event to all attendees. 



Central Edinburgh, venue to be confirmed in due course.


Delegate rates (excluding VAT):

  • Reduced rate: 1 place £145 + VAT (Voluntary / charitable organisations with an annual income of less than £1m)
  • Standard rate: 1 place £245 + VAT | 2+ places £195 + VAT per place (Central government departments and agencies, local authorities, universities, colleges, NHS, police, housing associations, professional associations and voluntary / charitable organisations with an annual income over £1m)
  • Private Sector rate: 1 place £295 + VAT | 2+ places £245 + VAT per place (Commercial organisations e.g. plc, Ltd, LLP)

For all event enquiries please email or call 0131 285 1635

16 April 2019



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