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Association of Community Based Business Advice

See also Teresa Bednall's presentation on ACBBA (Jun 2010)

Extracts from ACBBA Business Plan – 2007–2010

ACBBA was incorporated as a Company limited by guarantee in June 2004. Initially developed through the ESF EQUAL funded Reflex and SIED partnerships, led by the London Borough of Islington. ACBBA is now a growing and dynamic independent voluntary sector organisation.


ACBBA's objectives

Starting from the evidence that communities that have experienced social exclusion are entrepreneurial, ACBBA’s primary business is to assist community organisations to develop and sustain business support activities so that they can offer advice and assistance to those who have developed enterprises or who wish to consider enterprise development and self-employment. ACBBA offers community organisations:

  • unique, effective and attractive products
  • a rich experience which enables a flexible approach
  • a team of talented and qualified people
  • the opportunity to develop new networks to assist and sustain business support

By December 2006, ACBBA’s greatest achievements included 20 of its members becoming SFEDI Accredited Business Advisors, four local authorities engaged, 30 member community organisations spread over six London boroughs, a portfolio of over 1,300 business clients and a comprehensive suite of learning resources. It has a powerful unique selling proposition – the Community Based Business Support (CBBS)model.

Presentation by Teresa Bednall at Regional Policy Open Days in October 2007: [1]

ACBBA’s priorities 2007–2010

  • Building on Existing Capacity – The model acknowledges the existence of community groups with a good track record as the foundation upon which the new business support function is introduced.
  • Consolidate our achievements and deliver high quality enterprise support – Work with our members to ensure they are effectively supported to deliver contractual outputs and build ACBBA’s reputation as an organisation which can deliver a high quality of support to entrepreneurs and businesses.
  • Key alliances – Develop a range of key strategic alliances with other providers and development agencies who are happy to work with us. These relationships need to be developed to ensure the strategic development of ACBBA, the placing of CBBAs as a recognisable strand of the Business Advice profession, and to ensure our programmes and products achieve and maintain appropriate accredited status.
  • High profile, regular marketing – Continuously expand the reach of the bi-monthly newsletter, enlarge the range of publicity materials and enhance the content of our website. The publications aim to help us project an image as a creative, dynamic and professional organisation.
  • Sustain and develop our work with Local Authorities – Work on sustainability issues with local authorities and other local partners to ensure CBBAs continue to practice as business advisors and the emerging infrastructures are further developed. At the same time we need to engage with local authorities where we already have local partners or possibilities for new partnerships.
  • Develop highly focused interventions – Address the needs of specific BAME, gender, faith groups or geographical communities by working closely with small numbers of member organisations, setting up different partnerships to develop and deliver theme based proposals.
  • Commercial and non-commercial work – Complement funding with income generated through fee earning services by offering training and management consultancy services both in the UK and abroad to organisations interested in learning more about our model, developing their own funding proposals or engaging ACBBA to provide learning resources or facilitate implementation.
  • Working with Embedded Community Organisations – These organisations have access to a loyal constituency of users, offer a range of services and show a willingness to consider new service areas, such as business support. Their embedded nature translates into trust, recognition and goodwill within the community, all of which are essential for the CBBA model to work.
  • Developing High Calibre Business Advisors – The success of the model is dependent both on the programme of support offered and the qualities of the people recruited as business advisors. Ensuring they become professionally qualified business advisors

Along with SFEDI and partners in CZ, DE, ES & PT, ACBBA is a partner in the UBA - Upskilling Business Advisers - Leonardo project.