Are you ready to explore the incredible world of Social Enterprises in the United Kingdom? Join us on a thrilling journey as we uncover their astonishing growth, with £60 billion contributed to the economy and over 2 million people employed. Get ready to dive deep into their fascinating business models, including Community Interest Companies, cooperatives, and private companies limited by shares.

Discover the secrets to choosing the perfect structure for your social enterprise. Buckle up for an engaging episode of the “I Hate Numbers” podcast, where we unlock the power of social enterprises in making a difference and driving both profit and social impact.

Today, we’re diving into the fascinating world of social enterprises in the United Kingdom.  Welcome to another captivating episode of the “I Hate Numbers” podcast. Brace yourself for a deep dive into the incredible growth, unique business models, and legal structures that are revolutionising the way businesses make an impact!

Episode Highlights

The Rise of Social Enterprises in the UK: Can you believe it? Social enterprises have been taking the UK by storm! We’re talking about 100,000 social enterprises, contributing a whopping £60 billion to the economy and providing employment to around 2 million people. Those numbers are nothing short of astounding!

Defining Social Enterprises

 So, what exactly is a social enterprise? Well, it’s not your typical charity, folks. Social enterprises are businesses that tackle social and environmental issues while also making a sustainable profit. It’s all about blending the best of both worlds—doing good while running a successful venture.

Choosing the Right Business Model

 Now, when it comes to social enterprises, picking the right business model is crucial. But don’t worry, it’s not rocket science! You just need to consider a few factors. Think about your objectives, how you plan to raise funds, and whether you’re looking for personal rewards. Oh, and tax benefits can come into play too! So, a bit of strategic thinking and planning goes a long way.

Community Interest Company (CIC)

The CIC Model: Ah, the beloved CIC! It’s short for Community Interest Company. Let me tell you, this model is gaining serious popularity among UK social enterprises. Why? Well, CICs are designed to ensure that the profits they generate are primarily used for social good. They have a specific community purpose, and they even require a community benefit statement. 


Embracing Democratic Control: Hold on to your hats, folks! We’re about to talk cooperatives. No, not the grocery store chain, but the type of structure that embraces democratic control. In cooperatives, members—whether they’re employees, customers, or members of the local community—have a say in decision-making. Plus, they all share the profits. It’s all about transparency, fairness, and the well-being of the members.

Industrial and Providence Societies (IPS)

IPSes as Community Benefit Societies: Now, let’s chat about IPSes, also known as cooperative or community benefit societies. These legal structures are tailor-made for social enterprises, regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. IPSes prioritize the well-being of members and the wider community. They open doors to various tax benefits and funding opportunities, making them a valuable choice.

Conventional Private Company Limited by Shares

Raising External Capital: Hey, don’t forget, folks—social enterprises can also be conventional private companies limited by shares. Yep, it’s true! By opting for this structure, they can raise external capital from investors. And guess what? They can access funding programs like SEIS and EIS too. It’s all about finding the right fit for your vision and mission.

Charitable Incorporated Organization (CIO)

Combining Charitable Purpose and Legal Structure: Last but not least, let’s talk about CIOs—a legal structure primarily for organizations with charitable purposes. By registering as both a charity and a CIO, these incredible entities offer limited liability protection to their members while enjoying tax benefits associated with charitable status. It’s a win-win!


Well, folks, that’s a wrap on our exploration of social enterprises in the United Kingdom. They’re a force to be reckoned with, combining business acumen with social impact. Whether you’re a CIC enthusiast, a cooperative champion, an IPS advocate, a shares company trailblazer, or a CIO superhero, social enterprises are changing the game in the UK economy and society.

We hope you found this episode both enlightening and entertaining. We’re eager to hear your thoughts and experiences with social enterprises. Are you involved in one? What’s your preferred model? Don’t forget to join us next week for another exciting episode of the “I Hate Numbers” podcast. Until then, take care and catch you on the other side!

If you want to see how we can help you with your social enterprise, accounts, tax affairs, budgeting or planning then contact us for an initial FREE chat.