Collaborative Communities is a partnership of the County Voluntary Councils and County Councils in Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire, Swansea and Neath Port Talbot. Organisations based in or operating in these areas are covered by the project.
Our officers can work on an outreach basis and visit you at your organisation. If necessary they can also attend evening meetings with your group.
Collaborative Communities offers support to both new and existing organisations. We are more than happy to help new groups or groups who are just at the “idea” stage to help set up and develop their organisations.
The support of the officers is free. The project has been part-funded by the EU’s Convergence European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government and organisations will need to sign to say what support they have received.
Collaborative Communities definition of Social Enterprise:
‘Social Enterprises trade in order to pursue a social benefit and reinvest profits back into delivering social objectives.’
It is not a legal structure in itself and can take on a number of legal forms. As an organisation you would need to adopt an appropriate structure, such as unincorporated associations, trusts, limited companies, some industrial and provident societies, Community Interest Companies or charitable incorporated organisations. Depending on your organisations aims, purposes or objectives it maybe beneficial for you to set yourself up as a charity.
Not every organisation is able to or should develop trading or social enterprise activity. It needs to fit your mission, you need have the capacity to pursue it and it needs to be viable. Come and talk to us if you want to discuss social enterprise as an option for you (link), come along to one of our workshops (link) or use the decision tree in the resources section (link)
Even if you don’t pursue a new trading activity we can help you to consider how to be more enterprising in the work that you do and more effective at identifying and winning funding.
Community Interest Companies (CICs) are limited companies that exist to provide benefits to a community. It is a legal status that works well for Social Enterprise. It has the familiar company form and has access to a range of financing options. It is appropriate for those working for a social purpose. Key features include an asset lock and a community interest statement. CICs cannot have charity status but a charity can own one.
Collaborative Communities delivers support through our partners (see here). It aims to complement the support that has been offered for many years and build on this to ensure our support is as useful as it can be and relevant to changing needs. This could mean that some of the officers you already work with are funded by Collaborative Communities to provide support to you.
There is a lot of doom and gloom in the news at present. Inevitably sources of funding and support will change as public sector funding cuts bite and the general public change their spending, giving and volunteering habits. It is impossible to say what changes will happen but it is absolutely crucial for organisations to accept that change is happening and to stay tuned to the threats and opportunities that this presents. Get in touch with our development officers to discuss how this effects you.
As funding opportunities become scarcer and the UK Government seeks to reform public service delivery, the social enterprise model is much vaunted as a potential solution. This presents a fantastic opportunity to many organisations but caution should be aired that Social Enterprise is not the answer to everything. Social Enterprise is one solution amongst many.
The Social Enterprise model allows you to generate income from trading, loan finance and from grant funding. We can help you to identify opportunities and strategies for securing finance for your organisation. Collaborative Communities can offer some finance for organisations to complement the development officer support.
The Collaborative Communities project helps organisations to improve and become more sustainable. This process may involve some business or strategic planning. The process of developing this plan is more important than the final document and should genuinely help the organisation move forward. The motivations for developing a plan should be intrinsic (to help the organisation improve) rather than extrinsic (because a funder wants us to have one).
The Collaborative Communities project involves Local Authorities and CVC’s in the four counties in South West Wales. It is uniquely placed to work collaboratively to promote and improve the relationship between Local Authorities and the third sector. We work with Local Authority departments interested in engaging more with third sector organisations and also considering whether certain activities can be contracted out to or externalised to Social Enterprise structures.