Social Enterprise

Social Enterprise Slider

We are the local experts in social enterprise. In 2010-11 we supported the creation of 29 new social enterprises/mutual, and also supported 105 existing ones. These social enterprises have a combined turnover in excess of £26.5 million; they employ 1,460 staff and 528 volunteers.

We can support you through the journey from initial concept to flourishing social enterprise. We will start by helping you to develop a viable business plan. We will provide advice, guidance and training. Where necessary, we will refer you to specialist help. Once your social enterprise is up and running, we can offer further advice and support.

Support usually involves a mixture of:

• Business ideas generation • Confidence-building and motivational activities • Market research • Business planning • Advice on legal structures • Advice on business management • Help with finance and funding sources • Help with marketing and publicity • Training courses and NVQ provision • Bookkeeping • Health & Safety • Tax and NI calculation • In-work benefit/tax/debt management guidance • Financial management and forecasting • Applying for services and utilities • Purchase of equipment and stock • Referral and/or sign-posting to other support providers • Aftercare service ������� to promote sustainability

We can offer extra support to social enterprises, including:

  • A free payroll service.
  • Help with other back office functions.
  • Provision of local infrastructure (ICT, affordable and secure premises).
  • Annual checks on turnover.

Our team of qualified and experienced business advisers, consultants and trainers offer help on:

Legal Structures There is no legal definition and no single ideal legal structure for social enterprises in the UK. If you are thinking about setting up a business as a social enterprise, you will need our specialist knowledge of the available models in order to best meet your needs. Our specialist registration and incorporation service can help you to set up Companies Limited by Share and Guarantee, Community Interest Companies (CIC) and Industrial and Provident Societies (IPS). Where appropriate, we can link some of these structures to registered charities. We base our advice on what you want your organisation to do and how you want to do it. It is important that ‘form follows function’ to help you make your organisation sustainable.

The service includes:

  • An initial diagnostic to ensure that the organisation structure supports your proposed business model.
  • Drafting the governing document, in consultation, to ensure it reflects what you want it to do.
  • Money Laundering Regulations clearances – obligatory for directors.
  • Registering your company with the appropriate regulatory agency.
  • Explanatory notes that enable you to use the structure effectively.
  • Bound copies of your governing documents.

Prices range from £145 for a company registration.

For new and existing organisations that are growing and changing, we also provide:

  • A review of your current structure.
  • An options appraisal – to enable you to make informed choices about how to proceed.
  • Training for directors and the company secretary.
  • Registered office services.
  • Access to additional support for those setting up co-operatives.