Inspiring enterprises

Handmade Bakery

New ways to make a living and meet Transition’s aims

A recent REconomy report highlighted the enormous potential of the enterprises emerging from Transition, or similar places. You can download the full report, including all 20 case studies, in one PDF document here… Download the full report


…or you can download the individual case studies by clicking on the links in the picture gallery below.

The 5 national hubs that are exploring REconomy have created their own versions of this report for Belgium, Croatia, Italy, Latvia and the Netherlands. The full reports (including English translations) and individual summaries or case studies can be downloaded over here.

If you are looking for help or support to start your own new enterprise, this section is below, under all the case study images.

The new economy in 20 enterprises – introduction

Welcome to the UK’s top twenty ‘Transition oriented’ enterprises (what’s a Transition-oriented enterprise?). Combined these enterprises have a turnover of £3.5 million and provide paid employment for more than 100 people. We think they’re rather brilliant examples of people just doing stuff.

Each of these enterprises demonstrates a different way of working from business as usual – they are sustainable, offer some social benefits and have shared ownership, while providing essential goods and services for the community in which they make their home. They provide jobs for local people, as well as volunteering opportunities, and they buy from other local independent businesses. Most have emerged from a local Transition group or have links to Transition in some way.

Individually they are great examples, but the transformative potential is really clear when we picture them all operating together in one place… and we suggest that all of these enterprises are needed everywhere, given they meet our basic needs including food, energy, transport and housing. They illustrate what a new kind of community-led, place-based economy might look like, and show that the building blocks – the viable business models – are already in place and highly replicable.

We know there’s a large market opportunity for a re-localised economy based around local, independent businesses and supply chains. This has been quantified in 3 sectors so far – food, renewable energy and retrofitting homes – in REconomy’s Local Economic Evaluation work earlier this year. This top 20 provides inspiring working models for the kinds of enterprises that can turn this opportunity into reality.

Cick on the images below for the individual case study and contact details.

There are plenty of other great examples of Transition-oriented enterprises, and if we get a spare moment, we will share more of them. But meanwhile here are some older but still useful case studies for Freebus in Bristol, and Community Energy in Warwickshire.

Who can help you start your own enterprise or new livelihood?


We have produced a Transition Enterprise Handbook (as part of a series of guides) which is an essential tool to for those setting up a Transition Enterprises or Transition Initiatives supporting this work.  Our work is focused on helping Transition/community groups to themselves offer this kind of support locally. We do this by helping these groups get economic enabler and leadership projects underway.

We are just beginning some work to pull together a listing of the main national or regional investors in community enterprises, and will be sharing this info later in 2015. Meanwhile, here’s what we know at the moment about potential sources of investment.

Contact your local group to see if they are able to offer you any help (find Transition nearest you).

In addition, there’s a number of national UK organisations, mostly aligned to Transition thinking, that are already helping new enterprises get started – please contact them if you think they might be able to help you.