Welcome to the UK’s top twenty ‘[[Transition]] oriented’ social enterprises. Combined these enterprises have a turnover of £3.5 million and provide paid employment for more than 100 people. We think they’re rather brilliant examples of people just doing stuff…
|Bath & West Community Energy||Bath, Somerset||Energy – renew. generation|
|The Big Lemon||Brighton||Transport – bus|
|The Bristol Bike Project||Bristol||Transport – bike|
|Bristol Pound (with Bristol Credit Union)||Bristol||Finance – local currency|
|DE4 Food||Matlock, Derby||Food – distribution|
|DotDotDot Property Guardians||London||Housing – empty buildings|
|The Handmade Bakery||Slaithwaite, Yorks||Food – bakery|
|Hestia Care at Home||Totnes, Devon||Health – care|
|iSmooth Community Café||Ammanford, Wales||Food – café|
|London Creative Labs||London||Services – employment/enterprise|
|Norwich FarmShare||Norwich||Food – CSA|
|The Raven Inn||Llanarmon-yn-Ial, Wales||Food – pub|
|Renewable Energy Co-operative||Truro, Cornwall||Energy – renewables installation|
|Repowering London||London||Energy – renew. generation|
|The Restart Project||London||Waste – re-use & repair|
|Robert Owen Community Banking||Powys, Wales||Finance – loans & investment|
|SpareWheels||Dunbar, Scotland||Transport – car club|
|Totnes Sustainable Construction||Totnes, Devon||Housing – retrofit/construction|
|Transition Homes||Totnes, Devon||Housing – affordable new builds|
|Uig Community Co-operative Shop||Isle of Lewis, Scotland||Retail – community shop|
Each of these enterprises demonstrates a different way of working from business as usual – they are [[sustainability|sustainable]], offer some [[community benefit|social benefits]] and have [[community ownership of assets|shared ownership]], while providing essential goods and services for the [[community]] in which they make their home. They provide jobs for local people, as well as [[volunteering]] opportunities, and they buy from other local independent businesses. Most have emerged from a local [[Transition]] group or have links to [[Transition]] in some way.
Individually they are great examples, but the transformative potential is really clear when we picture them all operating together in one place… and we suggest that all of these enterprises are needed everywhere, given they meet our basic needs including food, energy, [[transit access|transport]] and housing. They illustrate what a new kind of community-led, place-based economy might look like, and show that the building blocks – the viable business models – are already in place and highly replicable.
We know there’s a large market opportunity for a [[localization|re-localised]] economy based around local, independent businesses and supply chains. This has been quantified in 3 sectors so far – food, renewable energy and retrofitting homes – in REconomy’s Local Economic Blueprint work earlier this year. This top 20 provides working models for the kinds of enterprises that can turn this opportunity into reality. We offer this report as a stimulus for government, funders, the [[Transition]] movement and other community groups and entrepreneurs to see the enormous potential in the community enterprise sector.