Community Business Partnerships Help Sheets

What is a Community-Business Partnership?

There is no one simple definition for what a community business partnership is - or indeed what a partnership is.

The word "partnership" can be an overused one, and one whose meaning can alter depending on the context in which it is used. Therefore, the definitions of a community business partnership - and partnerships generally - vary across a number of sources.

"Partnerships are collaborative, long-term relationships between businesses and community service organisations.
Partnerships can comprise large, medium or small business, teamed with large, medium or small community organisations. They are innovative and flexible ways to bring mutual benefits to both partners."

Source: Prime Ministers Community Business Partnership 2000 brochure

"Partnership is a cross-sector alliance in which individuals, groups and organisations agree to work together to fulfil an obligation or undertake a specific task, share the burdens as well as the benefits and review the relationship regularly, revising the agreement regularly."
Source: Prince of Wales Business Leadership Forum.

"(Partnerships are) relationships that provide opportunities for mutual benefit and results beyond what any single organisation or sector could realise alone."
Source: Meeting the Collaboration Challenge - Peter E Drucker Foundation

While each of these definitions varies, there are two common points:
  • The idea of teamwork, collaboration and the sharing of responsibility and rewards.
  • The achievement of outcomes rewarding to all involved.
A true community business partnership is:
  • One which works towards common good, as well as to community benefit; and.
  • One that sees business and community groups agree to work together on a project, or over a period of time, to achieve outcomes beneficial to both parties and to the wider community.
A community business partnership sees a co-operative effort, in which both parties are equally committed and are willing to share the responsibilities and rewards.

Such a partnership is not about just giving money or increasing the notion of charity, it is about increasing the capacity of both groups and the community in which they operate.

A successful community business partnership should be grounded in:
  • Solid planning.
  • Mutual respect.
  • Shared values.
  • Clear expectations.
  • A willingness to listen to each other and change if need be, and.
  • A desire to help the community.
For more information on community business partnership models, refer to the Ways To Be Involved Help Sheet available at the Community Business Partnerships Brokerage Service of the Our Community website.

Prime Ministers Community Business Partnership