Jim Brown is the principal consultant for Baker Brown Associates, a research and development co-operative in Bristol specialising in community investment and community business development. He has been a consultant to Supporters Direct since 2011, advising on a range of community share offers, including those for FC United of Manchester, Portsmouth Supporters Trust and Wrexham Supporters Trust.
Jim is also the strategic adviser to the government-funded Community Shares Unit based at Co-operatives UK. The Unit was created in October 2012, following a successful action-research programme for the UK Prime Minister’s Cabinet Office, launched in 2009, for which Jim was the lead consultant. Since then, more than 100 communities across the UK have raised over £15m in equity finance for community ventures such as food stores, pubs, football clubs, renewable energy schemes, community workspaces, bookshops, community farms and fair trade initiatives.
Jim Brown has written extensively on community investment, as the commissioning editor of Co-operative Capital and author of Community Investment using IPS legislation and The Practitioners’ Guide to Community Shares as well as in articles for the Guardian newspaper, the Social Enterprise Journal, and the Journal of Co-operative Studies.