In 2006 a new form of charity was created in law to address the confusion of having to be both a registered charity and a company; with the associated ‘dual registration and reporting’. The new form is known as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation or ‘CIO’ and went live in March 2013.
The term Social Enterprise or even Social Business is a fashionable one, but a little confusing, as it refers to a wide range of legal forms that organisations can take. Organisations describing themselves as Social Enterprises can be community groups, charities, companies of various forms, co-operatives, mutuals, or straight for-profit businesses and sole traders. When it comes to social enterprise, it pays to be clear what you do and don’t mean!
For Support Staffordshire, the main factors that show you are a genuine social enterprise are:
Support Staffordshire works with lots of groups across the county that have a core belief in issues of equality.
Support Staffordshire work with a number of Housing Organisations and Residents Groups in Staffordshire.
Traditionally social housing providers' main business was being a landlord (keeping homes in good condition and enforcing tenancy conditions). More recently housing organisations have become more involved in investing in the wider community.
Support Staffordshire enables a diverse range of groups in the field of safer communities.
Support Staffordshire works with a wide range of organisations and groups involved in the environment, in rural issues and animals as well as those engaged in promoting environmental sustainability. These include charities, social enterprises and community groups which manage nature reserves or care farms or animal rescue centres, friends groups formed from volunteers taking a positive interest in a particular area of land or a park, and community businesses running their local pub or shop.
Support Staffordshire works to support Mental Health focussed groups, large and familiar as well as small and innovative.