CICs and other social enterprises

Why we can't usually help them (and who can)

We love community interest companies (CICs) and other social enterprises for their commitment to a social purpose. They create and sustain jobs and often make our world a better place. However, Birmingham Community Matters (BCM) can’t usually support them with our core services. Why?  

It’s because CICs are limited companies. They are community-minded, of course, but they also need to have a commercial focus. Directors of CICs can be paid and draw dividends. They can pay shareholders. So there is potential within a CIC for private benefit.  

Because BCM is a charity we must direct our resources towards groups that are solely for public benefit. These rules are set out by the Charity Commission. Also, social enterprises are not our area of expertise. 

Check out the video we recorded with iSE, explaining what is (and what isn’t) a social enterprise.

And don’t go away! Read on to find out who can help you with your CIC, and how we can still support each other.

Specialist support for social entrepreneurs

For the best possible support for your CIC or social enterprise:

  • Explore iSE, which is based here in Birmingham, providing start-up and development opportunities for social enterprises, community organisations and not-for-profits
  • Have a look at resources and events from BSSEC CIC  – a network organisation committed to growing the social economy in the West Midlands. We think the newsletter is especially useful
  • Check out the School for Social Entrepreneurs. for more events, training and news of relevant programmes. The ‘Have I Got Social Enterprise News For You’ email newsletter is brilliant

  • You may be interested in the Birmingham Enterprise Company, a locally based initiative that is bringing the expertise of entrepreneurs to start-up owners across the world

  • See also Business Growth West Midlands, the new support services from the West Midlands Combined Authority.

Let's keep in touch

CICs and other social enterprises do important work that benefits people and communities, generates income, creates and sustains jobs, and reinvests profits into further important work. While we can’t usually support your CIC directly, we can still work together. Birmingham is a big, vibrant, diverse, exciting place and life is better here when we we share our knowledge and connections. Sign up to our newsletter and talk to us on social media – we’d love to know what you’re doing and share your news and opportunities across the city. 

Related resources

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Please note: we can’t usually help community interest companies (CICs).