CIC Association

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Social Enterprise Mark threatens libel action against former Co-op members

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I've see one nasty case of a Charity hijacked by a small clique against the wishes of the wider membership recently, and it wasn't pretty. "For evil to triumph" and all that - all it takes is two or three individuals to subvert the processes of democratic governance, and the whole thing goes belly up. There are times when I think the old fashioned family firm or plc has a lot more safeguards than wishy washy social enterprises where everyone is expected to come along to AGMs and take an interest in governance.  Actually I think most social enterprise models ( even building societies and credit unions etc) have a time limit of at best 50 years before they become corrupted by greed or go to the wall.

In my mind, where assets are held by individuals thats not a true social enterprise. Hundreds of companies are being started under the guise of  'Social Enterprise' when in fact they are merely companies set up to take over the roles that we expect our government to slicing up the NHS, privatisation of prisons and schools.

A real social enterprise is asset locked and gives the majority, if not 100% of its profits to its cause., as in CIC Ltd by guarantee.

I don't understand the fixation on profit distribution - there is nothing stopping a ltd by guarantee from paying the director's whatever salary they want. Rather we should measure against purpose, values and impact. 
For updates on the social enterprise libel scandal check out our blog post at and follow on Twitter using the hashtag #socentgate

I missed all this so far.  So did anything happen?

When someone brings up the subject of libel, they have my interest as a victim.

it's money that wins in this kind of litigation and we don't stand a chance against Google.  Would SEMCO be using public funds, one wonders?

As you'' discover should you ever find yourself in this position, there's no legal support for social enterprise and little solidarity either.

As you'll see from the link above the defamation directed at me concerns the treatment of disabled children in Ukraine and if you saw Kate Blewett's documentary about this on BBC4 this week, there should now be no doubt that we weren't making it up as the defamation claims.

What I've seen repeatedly in social enterprise is government funding being used to elbow others out of the way and our work in Ukraine is no exception. USAID and the British Council were quick to seize the opportunity, thinking perhaps that this was going to be a pushover as we were 'discredited'.

So the primary focus of our work was stripped out, serving it up under a new label.

Even this didn't prevent us creating impact

I remember Mark encouraging me to keep tilting at windmills. Now I'm coming at them like a train and I'm past the point of caring whether or not anyone supports me.  





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