Being a CIC is, conceptually, an amazing idea. We’ve taken the leap to become one – but what does that mean for you? And what even is a CIC?!
The story so far…
“Aaron Monk trading as Diverse Events” was started in 2013 with the aim to be a profit making entity. As the business evolved and matured, it soon became evident that our focus was clearly on working with community groups developing events for the local community, bringing the community together, providing a platform for local businesses and artists to grow, all with the positive by-product of supporting the local economy, and enhancing the overall community cohesion.
Although it has taken us time to realise – we are simply not a profit making entity, in the traditional sense. Recently we have taken the leap into becoming a CIC to truly solidify our community aims.
Becoming a CIC enables us to ensure that publicly we are perceived as truly focusing on the communities we work in, opposed to being a profit making entity. Additional it enables us to potentially access funding to not only aid the CIC in becoming sustainable in supporting the communities we work in, but to also purchase much needed resources and assets that can be utilised by all of the community groups we work with.
We currently (and will continue to!) regularly work with community groups across Devon and Cornwall, putting on events that benefit community cohesion, enhance the community, and provide a platform for businesses and artists to grow. We also independently run a number of other free events, providing a place for the community to visit, with free entertainment (providing a platform for artists), and a number of market stalls (providing a platform for businesses).
A CIC, or social enterprise, has to be doing good for the community. Regardless of becoming a CIC, we had to become a company, due to our growth and liability associated with it. However, by becoming a Community Interest Company, opposed to a Limited Company, we have ‘locked in’ our community mission as the core aims of the business.
What is a CIC?
A Community Interest Company (CIC) is the middle ground between a private company and a charity. A CIC limited by guarantee means there are no shares – so no dipping into the cookie jar of profits on a whim, all profits get reinvested into the company and into the community.
There is a great-big asset lock, which means we can’t give away assets (property or finances) of the company, we can’t line our own pockets, and we can’t make personal gain. Naturally we can still take a wage (gotta put food on the table!), but a CIC truly focuses the aim of the business on serving the community.
In a nutshell, we have a legal commitment to our aims of serving the community, as well as access to potential grant funding that we didn’t have before.
What does that mean for you?
As an exhibitor, it means very little. Everything will continue as usual.
As a client who we organise events for, it means a fair amount. If our funding bids are successful, it could result in training for the groups, access to event resources, and potentially a reduction in costs.
What does that mean for Diverse Events?
A huge amount, but publicly, not much. You’ll see us signing off as “Diverse Events CIC” with our company number of 12099647, and you’ll probably see us shouting a lot more about our community aims and activities, which are:
“The company’s activities will provide benefit to the people who live, work and/or run a business in Devon and Cornwall, and to visitors to Devon and Cornwall. In particular the company’s objective is to advance the community cohesion and the well-being of Devon and Cornwall communities, along with the community groups within them.”
|Activity||Community benefit of the activity|
|Develop and implement projects that will support existing community groups, traders, and artists||The company will work to develop ways to support existing community groups, traders, and artists, thereby protecting local projects, the local economy, and enhancing the overall prosperity of the community by increasing community cohesion and strengthening community spirit.|
|Provide a platform for businesses and artists||The company will work to provide a platform for businesses and artists to reach a wider audience and be involved in their community. The events will also provide a distribution channel for businesses, charities, and groups, directly to the communities they serve.|
So, in summary, we do good stuff, for good people, doing good for the community.