NTCA and Power to Change launched a strategic partnership with the objective of growing and further developing the social economy in the North of Tyne area, in partnership with local stakeholders.  

The Social Economy comprises the collective activity of Socially Trading Organisations (STOs) – such as companies and organisations that set out to deliver social benefits while trading commercially including community businesses, community land trusts, community interest companies, social enterprises, cooperatives, some limited companies, and family businesses and local ventures who demonstrate their social purpose through their business behaviours.  

We ran a Call for Evidence between 7 March and 13 May 2022 to gather views on the opportunities and barriers to growth in the social economy, and in particular the sector’s appetite for innovative financial products including loans and equity to support start-up, innovation, and scale-up.  This will inform significant investment into new and innovative social finance funds by NTCA and wider partners in the Summer. 

Together with Insights North East and Power to Change we hosted ‘Growing the North East social economy though innovative finance’ on 13 June at the Frederick Douglass Centre, Newcastle University, this event was a chance to learn about the initial findings from the Call for Evidence and discuss how to co-design the new and innovative finance initiative to grow the social economy.

A panel discussion was followed by moderated and open Question and Answer session addressing:

  • What kind of support does the socially trading sector need to develop and succeed?
  • To what extent do the Call for Evidence findings match experiences of those working in the socially trading sector?

We have published a summary of the event discussion, which also outlines the preliminary findings from our Call for Evidence, which you can downloaed here.

A full report of the Call for Evidence is being compiled. Together with contributions from this event, the report will inform the next stage of codesign of finance and business support for the social economy, which will take place with stakeholders and partners over the summer.

We are keen to continue the conversation with socially trading organisations and other partners. We therefore invite you to let us know whether you can support the next stage of engagement. This may include helping us in:

  • Shaping the fund model and co-investment opportunities
  • Understanding the needs/perspectives of socially trading organisations
  • Growing the social economy – such as best practice business support to help socially trading organisations start-up and scale-up.

To find out more about the Social Finance Fund, complete our sign up form to receive updates or email socialeconomy@northoftyne-ca.gov.uk



About Power to Change  

Power to Change is the independent trust that supports community businesses in England. Find out out more here.

Community businesses are locally rooted, community-led, trade for community benefit and make life better for local people. The sector owns assets worth £870m and comprises 11,300 community businesses across England who employ more than 37,000 people.  (Source: Community Business Market 2020).

From pubs to libraries; shops to bakeries; swimming pools to solar farms; community businesses are creating great products and services, providing employment and training and transforming lives. Power to Change received an original endowment from the National Lottery Community Fund in 2015 and a further £20million grant in 2021.