A Community Interest Company (CIC) is a social enterprise that works for the benefit of the community, by providing a range of non-for-profit services to the local area. Established in the UK in 2005, over the past decade CIC’s have gradually started to make a big impact on communities all around the country through the provision of social services, as well as jobs and investment for long term economic growth within communities.
From health and social care to community enterprises and co-operations, there are many ways in which CIC’s can benefit a region and society as a whole.
Services for the Community
Although CIC’s can vary in both their size and purpose, they generally provide some sort of service to the community, whether it be healthcare, education, social care or something more niche. As such, they often fill the gap where the public sector is lacking in facilities and funding, especially for the needy and vulnerable.
If you have a local community interest company in your area, it might be a good idea to find out exactly what they have to offer. You never know, it could just change the lives of you and your family.
Jobs and Local Investment
Not only do CIC’s provide help and assistance for the sick, disabled, elderly and others, but they are also a great source of employment for the community. From managerial roles and jobs within the organisation, to the knock on effect that the existence of a CIC can have on local businesses within the area such as the construction industry and suppliers, they can provide a significant boost to the economy at every level.
And because these companies retain their profits to reinvest back into the community, this can have a long term impact on an area for its future prosperity.
Giving the Community A Voice
The other great element of community interest companies is that they offer grass roots involvement for residents in the area. Although the CIC scheme was initially established by the UK government, anyone can set up such a company, and hundreds crop up every year all over the country. The membership of CIC’s is often democratic, with a board run by local representatives who are able to give the community a voice as to how the funding is spent and where the services can be improved.
As such, they are able to protect and further the interests of the local community in a way that nationwide companies within the public sector cannot.
If you have a community interest company in your area, there are many ways that it can benefit you and your family, from an individual level to wider, long term considerations for the region. Whether you have an elderly relative who requires home care, you are searching for a new job in the public sector, or you want to get involved in the local community, they are bringing tangible benefits to towns and counties throughout the UK.
Article by Kelly Gilmour-Grassam, she often writes about elderly care and home help with information from Locala HomeCare.