Plunkett Foundation announces national community business conference

The event, scheduled for Birmingham on 6 July, will be the charity’s first face-to-face conference in four years

Nationall community business charity Plunkett Foundation holds its first face-to-face conference in four years this July.

The Facing the Future Together event will bring together community businesses, advisers and experts for a day of networking and knowledge sharing at IET Birmingham: Austin Court on 6 July.

Keynote speakers include Co-operatives UK CEO Rose Marley, Esmee Fairbairn Foundation leader Dame Caroline Mason, Power to Change CEO Tim Davies-Pugh, the National Lottery Community Fund’s England director Mark Purvis, and Plunkett CEO James Alcock.

Eight interactive workshops will be held around two key themes identified by Plunkett members: people and pinances. 

Sam Ross, Plunkett member and secretary at Farmborough Community Shop said:  “Plunkett plays an important role in encouraging community businesses to run as thriving, sustainable businesses, to ensure they are competitive, and invest in their people. There is no substitute for coming face-to-face to discuss these issues.” 

Ross will be speaking on a panel looking at the road to net zero, and how community businesses can act as climate champions.

Plunkett, which represents almost 750 UK community businesses, will also address its five-year strategy, examining how community businesses can: provide a wider range of services for communities; stimulate the local economy through localised supply chains; boost opportunities for employment, training and volunteering; offset climate change through environmentally-friendly practices; harness digital technologies to enhance business performance; and promote diversity and inclusion.

Plunkett’s head of community business, Claire Spendley, said: “While we understand that the communities we work with are still navigating a challenging operating environment, we know that community businesses up and down the UK are pulling together to make a genuine, positive impact for local people – and we want to share these stories and inspire those involved in community business to see the opportunities they have to make a difference”.

Plunkett members can access early bird discounts on tickets which are available until 30 April 2023. See here for more information and the full programme. Organisations interested in sponsoring the event can contact Plunkett’s memberships and training manager Sarah Benn at [email protected]