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Community Interest Companies

A Working Rite match - Craig with his tradesman-mentor Keith. Image courtesy of Working Rite.

This is a new legal status for social enterprises, and is similar to charitable status. CIC status enables social ventures to access equity investment while maintaining the social goals of the enterprise as paramount. They do this by having a lock on assets and a cap on dividends, which partially insulates the enterprise from the private market’s imperative for profit maximisation and capital growth.

One example is Working Rite, which specialises in work-based mentoring projects. Based on the idea that everyone remembers their first boss, Working Rite matches an unemployed young person with a skilled tradesman and supports the young person through a six month apprenticeship. As of late December 2009 there were 3,261 companies registered as CICs.