1.6.2 Pre-start initiatives

There are four main challenges facing all community business pre-start initiatives:

  • developing a robust, competent development team capable of taking the idea forward to start-up
  • establishing the business case for the proposed enterprise; testing the business viability of the idea and showing that the enterprise will be profitable; ensuring that the proposed development is in scale with the target community
  • identifying the target community for the initiative; establishing contact with this community, and winning their support for the initiative; engaging the community in the development process
  • obtaining the resources to pay for the pre-start development costs, which can amount to at least 5% to 10% of the capital costs at start-up.

A lack of resources is probably the greatest barrier for pre-start initiatives, with some new societies taking three or more years to become investment-ready. 

If you have any questions or suggestions for new information you would like to find in the Handbook, contact the team by email at communityshares@uk.coop