Change your constitution?
Your constitution doesn’t fit the Social Enterprise Mark criteria?
… it’s easy, you can modify your constitution or adopt a new one
Over the last year, many organisations have decided to modify their constitution or adopt a new one to reflect the true values of their businesses. By doing so, these organisations were certain to meet the Social Enterprise Mark criteria and become certified social enterprises. It was also an opportunity for them to refresh their thinking about their business and how best to reflect their core values in everything they do, and communicate this to all who matter.
• Modify your constitution
The Ideas Mine CIC [download case study] did not immediately qualify for the Social Enterprise Mark: when they set up they took a limited company status for convenience and because at the time there was no clear alternative which appealed to them.
When applying for the Social Enterprise Mark Ideas Mine had to modify their constitution (e.g. Mems & Arts/set of rules) which gave them the motivation and drive to refocus on their business’ core values and make sure these ran through every part of their business.
• Adopt a new constitution
ADP Projects [download the case study] had been trading as a commercial company for 20 years when they were inspired to set up a social enterprise for the specific work they do in the community. Their research led them to set up as a Community Interest Company and they successfully applied for the Social Enterprise Mark.
They wanted to gain the Mark not just as recognition of their work but also as a statement of what is possible. They already predict the time when they will close down the private limited company and trade just as a social enterprise but meanwhile, the original company continues to provide support to the social enterprise.
Tips from the team:
- Changes to your constitution can easily be made and at no cost, with Companies House, who will be able to advise you of the process.
- Call the helpline on 0845 504 6536 to discuss your modified or new constitution to ensure that it correctly matches the Social Enterprise Mark criteria. This will make your application to hold the Social Enterprise Mark easier and straightforward.
- Pre-start/new start: why not make sure you qualify against the Social Enterprise Mark criteria from Day 1 by instructing your solicitor/business adviser of the Mark criteria [download the criteria].