Match Trading and the behaviours of community businesses and social enterprises

Match Trading and the Behaviours of Community Businesses and Social Enterprises

A research study of the Marshall Institute in collaboration with the School of Social Entrepreneurs.

Researchers:  Jonathan Roberts, Kerryn Krige, Julian Le Grand

Match Trading is an innovative grant-making mechanism, created and implemented by the School of Social Entrepreneurs (SSE) in the UK, that seeks to improve the self-reliance and trading capacity of community businesses.  The amount of grant given is contingent upon increases in the recipient business’s trading turnover: for every pound that the business increases its revenue, it will receive a matching grant of one pound, up to a given maximum. Recipients also take part in a learning programme to develop their skills in finance, leadership, social impact measurement and resilience. 

The Match Trading scheme offers a rich venue to explore the behaviours and processes of community businesses and social enterprises and the challenges that they face.  It specifically enables exploration of the behaviours of organisations at a time of resource shift towards increased commercial revenue from market trading.  Given that the nature of organisations’ external resources is predicted to affect their behaviours (Pfeffer and Salancik 1978), this resource shift may have implications for the processes, objectives and activities of organisations and for the motivations of their stakeholders. 

The research project will have two focuses:

  • To explore the development of commercial capacity in community businesses, the consequent behaviours and processes of these hybrid organisational forms, and the connections to and implications for policy.
  • To investigate the effect upon organisations’ behaviours of the Match Trading Scheme as a specific innovative instrument that seeks to support organisations’ resilience through enhanced market trading; identify policy and practice implications of this type of innovative funding mechanism

For more information on the concept of Match Trading: