CIC Association

Serving Community Enterprise

Hi Everyone


The Association is ready to take the next steps in its development, and we're keen to have your input on how we take that development forward. We propose the attached DRAFT memo and arts for discussion and development. We have two members who have kindly agreed to be the initial board members, with a primarily role of putting in place a representative and capable board with which to move forward.


There's a wider debate happening alongside this, many members have indicated they would like to form partnerships with the Association and other CICs, contributing your ideas through these planning discussions will help us build an Association thats relevant to you.


I'll be posting some video from the recent CIC Forum and a bit more on the development plans shortly.


best regards


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so - with my legal anorak head on (the one that allows me to relate values with governance with legal forms with rules and artucles, etc),could I highlight the following:

1) the objects specify that the company would be run as a co-operative association (6.3), and so I'd expect to see a minimum number of Members/Directors of 3 in keeping with co-op ethos' and values, etc, but the rules have it as 2 (24.1)

2) harking back to this focus of the Articles as a co-operatively focussed, 28.2 says that it will be formed and incorporated with only 1 person, and 28.4 says that the Directors (=founding Member) will have the final say on which CICs can be further admitted into membership so an apparent contradiction with the co-op values ('open membership')

3) only CICs can be members of the company (28.1) which I guess makes sense, but what about considering some form of wider stakeholder group of 'associate members'/"friends of..." who could be referred to in the ongoing governance of the company and allow it to widen its catchment of support?
would agree with Adrian. If the co. is going to state that it will work as a co-op it's articles should at the very least allude to the co-op v&ps. Co-operatives UK has a co-op CIC guarantee model that has been approved by the CIC reg. Would suggest u use that one if the objects are to remain "as is." Otherwise u may get more comments from co-op activists.
more comments from co-op activists are welcome! I think there will be a lot of crossover between the two as things move on, hopefully the Association can be involved in that . Adrian rightly points out that we may benefit from other stakeholders having a say, something that is popping up a lot in feedback im getting.

When we first launched the website we suggested four types of member ( copied below) , the basic premise has generally met with approval and will allow for us to build a broad church, and ensure any executive can get on with plans that have been agreed by CICs collectively.

- CIC Friend – anyone can sign up for free access to CIC Connect, receive a regular update on what’s happening via our e-news, and the opportunity to inform opinion via our surveys.

- CIC Member – Every CIC can register for full member status. Benefits will include:

An annual vote on CIC Association policy for every registered CIC, including electing members to the board. All CIC members can be nominated for election to the board.

Use of CIC Association branding and template literature.

Access to CIC Invest

Access to our Online Marketplace and practitioner resources

All CIC members will be expected to contribute to the wider mapping of the community via questionnaires and surveys organised with the Regulator and other key partners.

Full details of the Associate membership will be disclosed in due course, please register your interest here…………

- CIC Associate – We are currently developing an Associate membership that will allow CIC practitioners to actively contribute to our policy and programme delivery. We want to tap into the wealth of expertise that’s already in the CIC community to provide the capacity needed to achieve our objectives. If you want to add to the academic evidence base, build a consortia of CICs within your own sector to win large contracts, or help deliver services such as as communication or training then this option should be of interest.

We hope CIC Associates will help develop the local and regional framework, as well as contribute to the national agenda. Full details of the Associate membership will be disclosed in due course, please register your interest here…………

- CIC Partner – CICs are already operating across the spectrum of business sectors, at local, regional and national levels, and it makes sense to have a central point from which to co-operate and tackle shared objectives.

Forming successful partnerships with existing key organisations within the community is vital for long term CIC development. Whether you work for a wider group such as Charity, or in a specific sector such as Healthcare, we look forward to discussing collaberation on joint objectives.

Whats your current focus on Denise?
I'm a trainee legal executive working with co-ops and third sector organisations. I agree with Cecile, it is not clear why another entity is required. Are you sure that those persons/organisations will be able to devote the time to commit to formal membership of another organisation. Wouldn't it be more welcome to develop the website into a more open forum with resources for CICs, opportunities to contribute. You may find that people are more able to contribute rather than attend formal meetings etc.
Hi Denise

If you look thru the back copy (and the recent videos) you'll see thats exactly what we intend to do, we need the new CLG to be able to build funding bids to develop resources etc, as most grantfunders wont work with a CIC limited by shares, which is what we are at the moment. This also gives myself and Tom (the shareholders) the opportunity to transfer all the work we've done so far to the new company, and to build a board representative of the CIC members.

Believe it or not we've also had the odd snide remark that we're somehow inappropriately profitting from this , and I want to put that sort of rubbish to bed quickly. Virtually all the work contributed so far has been done for nothing, not a situation thats viable moving forward. Please look through the videos to get a wider perspective of what we've been doing.

My letter to Liam Byrne in March 2009 also covers most of the points you raise, most of it is common sense but it has been frustrating getting it to this stage.

We've taken the lead to get this off the ground, now its time to widen the participation. The basic objectives we have been working to were taken from the SEC Forum in May2008, backed up by last years questionnaire and in conjunction with the regulator.

1. Be the representative body for all CICs in the UK
2. Seek views and opinions from members and other stakeholders and be proactive in tackling issues faced by CICs
3. Promote the business model and support its wider application
4. Work with the Regulator and Government to develop the legislation
5. Provide information and resources, to save time and money, to existing and potential CICs, and their stakeholders.
6. Act as an intermediary between CICs and the wider community
7. Act as a portal to secure funding and contracts to deliver outcomes on behalf of the community and work with existing CICs to supply delivery
8. Interact with and lobby policymakers, on issues such as Brand Awareness, Investment Issues and Tax Incentives
When you say you are going to 'build a board' what do you mean, John? And can we be told the identity of the two people you have apparently identified and what the process was/is for this - I asked this a while ago?
Hi Matthew
yep, i was going to wait until I had a couple more bits in place, but yes, the two initial board members are Mike Veitch and Geof Cox (use the member search to locate their profiles).
These two are only short term (I did post a reply on the 7th July), and their function will be to oversee the building of a strong, representative board. Basically im putting in place a process that will allow members to nominate themselves and other members to the board (at this stage im not precluding non members, as a strong board will should probably include non-cics as well) with a voting structure and development plan. Im drawing on the Nationwide Bldg Soc and Cafe Direct as best practice to steer the general governance
Its basically the same plan as was in place when you posted Toms letter in Social Enterprise Magazine on %th Nov 2009

There's lots still to do to get this ready, but members will have as much or more say than in any other similar type of organisation, and is being developed with the full support of the regulator and other key stakeholders.

Please have a look at the videos as they cover most of it (two more to come), we'll be sending out a letter to all CICs in due course (im still putting funding in place) . I know you'll appreciate how much work is involved, I could (maybe should) have waited to inform the members but wanted as much feedback as early in the process as possible.
I hope most members (and will be a little gutted if not) will be blown away by the work I and others have done on their behalf in trying to get a solid foundation for us all to build from.
Best regards
Please look at this video for a simple description of plans to take development forward. There's plenty of time to frame the debate/ add to/ change the plan but im hoping for as much early feedback as possible
Basic transition Video CIC Forum July2010
best regards
Hi All,
First I want to apologise for my absence from this discussion to date - huge pressure of work!
I really appreciate the feedback to date and promise to improve my spelling (odd that I need to do this - I was an English teacher 30 years ago!). The articles were of course a very early draft, but I do want to make a couple of substantive points on them.
1. The CIC Association was established as a Share CIC, but this is not really a good structure for a membership body - it is a good structure though for many other purposes - hence the approach of establishing a membership body in the form of a Guarantee CIC alongside the existing company to get the best of both worlds! Ultimately the Guarantee CIC will control the Share CIC or use it as a partnership vehicle for more commercial projects.
2. The CIC Association membership body should not be a co-operative even though it may- and in my view should - act like a co-operative at times (and perhaps gain mutual trading status in respect of those earnings derived exclusively from members). Co-operatives are member-benefit organisations and this is why they are relatively weak grant-funding vehicles - it is important that the CIC Association is fundable from as wide a range of grant-giving bodies as possible, and for this and other reasons that it is focused on wider community benefits and especially ALL current and future CICs, as well as its own members.
3. Having said that, I do believe it should be a one-member-one-vote structure with CICs as members. Again my reasons are pragmatic more than ideological. Classes of membership with differential voting rights etc do not work smoothly in membership bodies in my experience - much better to have a simple transparent company membership and alongside this a supporting membership scheme - like the 'friends of' bodies that support theatres etc and get some benefits in return but do not actually own or vote in the theatre company itself.
4. Finally, I want to publicly declare that - as John says - I only agreed to act as a first director of the new company as a temporary convenience, and will resign as soon as it is properly established and more able directors elected (or press-ganged!). I am already a director of one social enterprise national umbrella body and couldn't possibly cope with 2 at once!
hi John et al,

conscious that things have seemed a tad quiet regarding the Associations' development and formalisation - just wondering its cos of the day jobs are demand a bit more attention or if there's anything that might liked to be asked for?
Your guess is right Adrian - the day job is an any-time-I-can-get-away-from-the-kids-job just at present! But actually we're not far off - I expect to have all the paperwork done before Xmas so I expect that quite early in the new year we'll be in a position to start recruiting a proper board, sorting out company admin, bank and all that, and ultimately planning a General Meeting / Conference.
John is keeping us all in order and I'm sure will have noted that you are a sucker for punishment willing volunteer!
Hi Adrian
Yep, Ive had a very busy schedule recently so we havent posted much, but as with the Transition Plans most things are edging forward.
We've submitted an initial proposal to Nesta for their pilot scheme for the Big Society Bank, we should find out by tomorrow whether that goes ahead and to some extent its a trigger to what we do next......maps are almost updated, survey almost ready, MoU with the regulator agreed, workshops developing, have responded to some Govt consultations and am talking to BIS and Cabinet Office, have been meeting with investment intermediaries to discuss infrastructure.....the list goes on!......shall we catch upon the phone next week?



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