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Is CIO the Way to Go?

We’re moving a step closer to making it simple for charities to convert to a CIO (Charitable Incorporated Organisation), as the Cabinet Office has recently opened a consultation on the process (details below).

Charities may be able to convert to a CIO as (soon) as the 1st October 2016, the provisional timetable being:

  • charitable companies with an annual income greater than £500,000 convert to CIO status by 1 October 2016
  • those with an annual income of between £250,000 and £500,000 in December 2016
  • those with incomes of between £100,000 and £250,000 in February 2017
  • between £25,000 to £100,000 in April 2017
  • those with lower incomes of less than £25,000 in July 2017.

For some this will be welcome news, as it has taken some time to get to this point. Those supporting the sector’s development may remember that we were discussing the possibility and the then “new” legislation for a CIC and CIO back in the very early 2000s.

The CIC became available for social enterprises in 2005 and it was thought the CIO would follow swiftly, but it finally became available in 2013 and now the Charity Commission has reported that around half of the applications to form a new charity are using the CIO model.

The CIO model has been welcomed, prior to that, Charities needed to register with Companies House as well as the Charity Commission in order to become a limited liability legal entity. They therefore had two structures and needed to report to two regulators, the CIO streamlined this being a limited structure only reporting to the Charity Commission.

If you would like to comment on the consultation then you can do this by Respondents to the consultation can submit a response or an enquiry via email to charities-act@cabinetoffice.gov.uk. For further information on how to respond, click here.


Young entrepreneurs get creative and talk business, finance and marketing

TMC Group shot ammended TMC Ben and Jordan





^Above clockwise, Dave Lane, Ben Glover, Jordan Singh, Chris Bregg and Jade Webb (Just seen). Right, Ben Glover and Jordan Singh.

Following a series of 2 workshops, delivered by Development in Social Enterprise CIC, The Mighty Creatives and DYNAMIC Marketing, at the Creative Seed Hub in Leicester, 6 young entrepreneurs from the Leicestershire area attended to talk business and gain valuable advice on how to set up their business, how to market themselves and finance their business.

The first workshop was delivered by Development in Social Enterprise CIC and The Mighty Creatives, where Dave Lane, CEO of DISE, gave advice about business plans and thinking about the ideas and processes involved with starting up a business.

The entrepreneurs were given the opportunity to pitch their business ideas to the group and gain feedback about their ‘elevator pitch’. An elevator pitch is a 60 second pitch you make to a group or individual about your business and your ideas. It was important for the delegates to understand that they only had 60 seconds to impress a potential business client or partner, and they had to think about refining their pitches down to a succinct and clear form, to appeal to prospective customers in their first minute of meeting.

Pete Moseley of The Mighty Creatives gave advice on thinking about the process involved with collating information and creating ideas to create the business. For example, making the entrepreneurs think about what they need to say and do, where to get information from, or how they think and feel about their business ideas. He also made them think about any ‘pain’ they might encounter, so any potential risks or conflicts involved with their business ideas.

The day ended by touching upon some legal structures that would best suit the entrepreneurs business ideas.

TMC Dave Amended< Left – Dave Lane advising on start up costs and financing a business.

The second part of the workshop was delivered by Development in Social Enterprise and DYNAMIC Marketing, where Ranjit Bansal, Marketing Consultant of DYNAMIC Marketing, advised the entrepreneurs about financing and budgets and the importance of marketing and brand power.

Dave got down to the specifics of financial modelling and noted that this was the most important part of business, “if you have no money you have no business”. It was important for the young entrepreneurs to think in detail about their cash flow, expenses and their financial projection. Dave then worked out how much money it could cost to start up a business, by listing all of necessary expenses, including laptop, phone, website, internet, office space, stationary, marketing materials, business cards, travel costs, manufacturing costs, resources for goods and delivery costs.

The delegates were surprised how expensive it can be to start up a business, so Ranjit then offered some advice on where to save money when setting up. She said to “always use your contacts and networks and call in favours to get things cheaper or for free, it would also be useful to exchange services with other businesses, where they might be able to offer you a deal”.

TMC Ranjit ammended< Left – Ranjit Bansal advising on finance and marketing techniques.

Other important notes on finance include always keeping records of your business finances, especially for tax purposes. Taxes were covered in great detail by Ranjit and Dave and informed the delegates to keep a separate account with 25% of profit saved to pay back tax at the end of the year. By having a separate account this ensures none of the money is spent on business use and is saved solely for the end of year tax payment.

Ranjit also delivered a thought provoking brand management presentation, where the entrepreneurs were asked to talk about how they perceived different brands and the power of a brand. For example, the Apple logo was recognised by all because its brand is so powerful and marketing of the apple products has been ongoing for years. Other factors including the type of products they offer and the customer service experience are big drivers of a powerful brand.

The workshop was also being filmed by Simon from Reel Eyes Films , who was collating photographs and video shots for the DISE promotional video.

Follow what Reel Eyes Films are up to on their Twitter page.

Photographs provided by Simon of Reel Eyes Films 03/03/2015.