Using Arts, Heritage, Enterprise & the Environment to inspire positive change across the whole community
A bit of background...
Operating since 2006 our company has gone through a number of changes. We started out as a partnership. Then after building up the business we became a Limited Company. (Growth Activities ltd).
More recently we have started to work more and more in the local community. We have built up a core group of young people and volunteers, along with a number of groups and customers. The way we work started to change and evolve. We listened to what the community wanted to see happen and what they wanted to get involved in. It soon became clear that the nature of the business had changed. We have never been a massive profit making organisation. But we have successfully earmed a living and been able to fund a number of community activities. However, to carry out the amazing ideas found during our consultations we knew we needed a different vehicle.
After much research and valuable advice we settled on becoming a Community Interest Company
So... What is a Community Interest Company (CIC)...?
"A community interest company is a new type of company introduced by the United Kingdom government in 2005 under the Companies Act 2004, designed for social enterprises that want to use their profits and assets for the public good" wikipedia.
What that means to us...
For what we are trying to achieve here in Staveley this is the perfect structure. Yes, it will allow us to apply for funding, grants and sponsorship to subsidise the activities we want to carry out. But what we are most excited about is that we can still operate as a business. We can start a number of enterprises and microbusiness with community members to generate our own revenue.
Then (the best bit...) 65% of all profits made are fed back in to the community. Effectively funding or subsidising our community activities ourselves.
This is going to take time to build up but what it means is that we as a community, can create something thats not only valuable in the short term, but it has a shot at becoming more self-sustainable and less reliant upon external funding. Thats the aim!