Community Interest Companies (and other forms of social enterprise) have an increasingly important role in transforming people’s lives in Somerset.
While we welcome application from CICs, we recognise that they differ from charities and other voluntary organisations, particularly as they do not have a voluntary governance structure equivalent to charity trustees. As such, our decisions will be based on our regular grant criteria as well as the following:
- The enterprise is properly registered and has three unrelated directors.
- The majority of the directors are unpaid or there is an independent process for determining directors’ pay levels.
- The application is for set up costs, or to help an enterprise achieve a significant ‘step change’. Grants will not be awarded for general running costs.
- A professional and realistic business plan is submitted alongside the application.
- An asset lock that predominantly benefits communities in Somerset is in place. Note that the Foundation is willing to be considered as a nominee for an asset lock by a new CIC.
- The current and projected remuneration of directors of the CIC is limited by guarantee, or the dividends cap if it is limited by shares.
These guidelines apply to other social purpose businesses, including companies limited by guarantee and Industrial and Provident Societies, where we would expect to see an asset lock, a cap on directors’ remuneration, and a suitable dissolution clause.