Teaching community business skills

Our affordable online courses are designed specifically for community businesses, to help you start and run your own sustainable social enterprise.

Find out more

We’re specialists when it comes to community businesses

W e have twenty years’ experience advising and supporting community businesses. Now we’re making that expertise accessible to more people through affordable online classes, so you can access the information you need to make your enterprise as successful and sustainable as possible.

You can take our classes at your own pace, share the workload with your group and tap into a network of other community businesses who are also taking classes.

Our first two courses are focused on raising money through community shares. Scroll on for all the details. We look forward to welcoming you to class!

Why learn with us?

Get the skills you need

Our courses are designed to make effective use of your valuable volunteer time

Accessible and flexible

Blitz the courses if you’re in a rush or go at your own pace, at home or on the move

Varied learning materials

Videos, information sheets, exercises and podcasts to fit all learning styles

Which course is right for you?

  • Community Shares Workshop

    Find out if a share issue could work for your organisation in just two and a half hours with our FREE video workshop

    • Complete the workshop in a single two-hour meeting of your group’s key decision makers
    • 6 informative videos to watch together
    • 8 detailed exercises to complete as a group
    • Work through the key issues to find out if a share issue is right for you including how much you could raise
    • Think about your target and what impact the money could have on your future
    • Calculate how much you might realistically raise and from how many people
    • Assess how ready your group is for the challenges and opportunities of community ownership
    • Includes a handy facilitator guide to help your workshop run smoothly
  • Community Shares Masterclass

    Work step-by-step through everything you need to do to plan and launch a successful share issue.

    • 9 videos take you through the big issues
    • 21 detailed exercises will help you make decisions and shape your offer
    • 37 factsheets covering every element of a community share issue
    • 8 real-life case studies to learn from
    • 7 podcast interviews with people who have been through the process of planning and launching a share issue
    • Self-paced so you can complete the material at your own speed
    • Work out every detail of your share offer including the financial return you’ll be offering investors
    • Learn how to write an engaging share offer document and develop your business plan
    • Plan your engagement campaign and promotion strategy

Frequently asked questions

  • What is the Community Business School?
    The Community Business School was created by The Community Shares Company, to share our knowledge and expertise about planning, starting, financing and running a community business. We have twenty year’s worth of experience which we wanted to make accessible to more people, so more communities can take control of the assets that matter to them.
  • Who can take your courses?
    Anyone! But it’s worth noting that our courses are designed for learners who are actively involved in a group that’s working towards creating a community business or already running a community business.
  • Are your courses accredited?
    No, but they were created by people who are. For example, Dave Boyle has a Level 5 professional and vocational qualification in advising social enterprises.