What’s happening?

What Works Centre for Wellbeing, with Leeds Beckett University, are carrying out a systematic review to find out whether and by what means community businesses can improve community conditions and wellbeing.

The review team will be doing a careful search for published material, but would also like to include ‘grey’ literature – such as evaluations that have yet to be  published, or reports and evaluations produced by charities, government departments, or community groups and organisations.

How can you get involved?

If you are aware of an evaluation of a community business designed to improve community conditions, with an impact on community wellbeing, you can submit it to our systematic review and help us build an evidence base for community business interventions.

We are also interested in theories of change, frameworks, logic models, academic papers or anything else that seeks to explain the mechanisms by which community business interventions can impact on community wellbeing. We are particularly seeking evidence on community businesses that meet the following criteria:

  • Locally rooted: they are rooted in a particular geographical place and respond to its needs. For example, high levels of urban deprivation or rural isolation.
  • Trading for the benefit of the local community: they are businesses. Their income comes from things like renting out space in their buildings, trading as cafés, selling produce they grow or generating energy.
  • Accountable to the local community: they are accountable to local people via explicit mechanisms, for example through a community shares offer that creates members who have a voice in the business’s direction.
  • Broad community impact: they benefit and impact their local community as a whole. They often morph into the hub of a neighbourhood, where all types of local groups gather, for example to access broadband or get training in vital life skills.
  • Qualitative (e.g. interviews) and quantitative (i.e. numbers) evidence is welcome, as well as theories of change, logic models etc. as detailed above.

All examples must be written in English and include an author and date. We can only include evidence which can be made publicly available. If the work was done outside the UK, it would be helpful if you could tell us something about how relevant you think the findings are likely to be to the UK setting.

Please send your submissions electronically to the What Works Centre for Wellbeing evidence@whatworkswellbeing.org with the subject line ‘Evidence: Wellbeing and Community Business’.

All submissions should be received by 31 st January 2019.