The Power of Community Businesses – be inspired!

Community Businesses have the potential to revolutionise local communities and this informal webinar will inspire you and give you chance to hear insights from two people who have practical experience (worts and all!) of why to set one up, how to go about it and what’s it like to run a community business!

Robert Ashton and Alex Begg will answer your questions and share their experiences in this interactive webinar which will leave you with more confidence and some clear next steps, whatever the stage of your Community Business or idea.

Robert Ashton is passionate about all types of community businesses and has seen the tremendous benefit a community owned shop can bring a rural village. Apart from the obvious benefits of being able to shop locally, a community owned shop is a powerful way to bring neighbours together for a common purpose.

Robert was commissioned to recruit and support a team of willing volunteers to raise the money necessary to open a community owned shop at Little Plumstead, near Norwich which opened for business in September 2020.

During this 1-hour webinar, Robert will share his experience in discussion with Alex Begg who previously worked for Big Society Capital and launched a community pub share offer in August in his local community after a 2 year campaign to save his only village pub.

About your speakers

Robert Ashton, The Barefoot Entrepreneur

Robert’s campaigning played a key role in the establishment of Norfolk Community Foundation, and over the years he’s established social enterprises, brokered charity mergers and very successfully raised capital grants, sometimes for a fee, and sometimes on a pro bono basis. Robert is now primarily working as a writer. Read more here

Alex Begg

In his day job Alex is a member of East of England’s Regional Leadership team working for the National Trust. Prior to this Alex has spent time within the social investment sector working as an Associate at Big Society Capital and is also an On-Purpose Fellow.

During the pandemic, Alex spearheaded a successful local campaign in his village to save their pub and culminating in a Crowdfunding effort which raised their share offer maximum of £260,000 in 5 weeks from 425 investors. Alex is keen to share his learning with other community business leaders looking to do the same in a tough social and economic climate.


Nov 16 2020


10:00 am - 11:00 am



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Social Enterprise East of England

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