I have thought about establishing a CIC for quite a while now and talked to a few people in the Social Enterprise sector.
However, having read some of the comments about regulation / filing etc I am wondering if there are any advantages to being a CIC as opposed to a private limited company if you wish to help other social enterprises grow and improve?
I have set up a private limited company which offers consultancy services to SMEs and want to develop services for social enterprises, including the production of accounts etc.
There will be pros and cons David, here are 90 stories that show the breadth of activity that CICs are conducting up and down the country http://cicassoc.ning.com/forum/categories/cics-in-the-news/listForC...
One advantage to being a CIC is that you will be able to access our soon to be launched CIC Online marketplace, we have two or three other CIC accountants, and numerous CICs that delivery business advice that will be getting involved.
If your looking to offer accountancy services yourself you should know that the extra regulatory requirements for reporting as a CIC add less than an hours paperwork to the CIC, in reality its one simple form.
Thanks for the advice. I look forward to seeing the new online marketplace.
At present, although I am a fully qualified accountant, I operate as a consultant providing information security services and IT Training. Information Security services involves IT Security, Business Continuity, Data Protection Act compliance and Employee Awareness and Training. That is the end of my sales pitch!
I'm in agreement with Geof. We provide services for schools, and being a CIC goes a long way to add credibility and generate trust among head teachers and the local education authority - which in turn increases the uptake of our services.
We're in the process of applying for funding (Big Lottery Reaching Communities) so I can't speak to how much of an advantage there is on the financial side of things just yet - but there do seem to be a lot of opportunities out there. Having said that, if anyone here knows of any local funding opportunities i'd love more info!
Good luck with it David - however you choose to deliver.
I was on a seminar for social enterprises the other day about capital funding and sources available, ie not grants. If that is of interest to you I can provide some details for you.
That would be fantastic - thanks! My email address is 'firstname.lastname@example.org' if you'd rather email them to me.
Where do I get to hear about these seminars for social enterprises? Is there a special mailing list I should join?
The seminars are being run through Business Link under the heading "Built to Achieve". This is the link http://www.btob.co.uk/builttoachieve/
The list of potential funders are providers of capital - i.e. social investors. It includes organisations like bigissueinvest.com, bridgesventures.com, can-online.org.uk, tself.org.uk, unltd.org.uk, cafonline.org as well as Triodos.co.uk. Also, socialfinance.org.uk is apparently useful as a search engine for finding investors.
Hope that helps.