Social Enterprise

A social enterprise is a business that helps people or communities. It has a profit-making business model, but those profits are used to achieve social, charitable or community-based objectives. Because of the nature of the business social enterprises are often seen as a sustainable way to generate income for charitable causes.Social Enterpise UK

Great information, resources and examples are available via Social Enterprise UK.

To set up a social enterprise you must choose a business legal structure such as a:

Click here to find out more about setting up a social enterprise, or talk to our funding development workers at Hounslow Voluntary Sector Support Service (HVSSS),


Community Interest Companies (CIC)

A CIC is a special type of limited company which exists to benefit the community rather than private shareholders.

To set up a CIC, you need to apply to Companies House, and:

  • include a ‘community interest statement’, explaining what your business plans to do
  • create an ‘asset lock’- a legal promise stating that the company’s assets will only be used for its social objectives, and setting limits to the money it can pay to shareholders
  • get your company approved by the community interest company regulator– your application will automatically be sent to them

The CIC regulator has guidance on CICs, including the forms you need to set one up.