Tuesday, April 14, 2009

did I really change the Community Interest Company legislation from my bedroom?

Shortly after the Community Interest Company, the new legal form created to encourage social entrepreneurs, came into being, I challenged some of the rules that any would-be CIC had to adopt as I felt that they would force social enterprises adopting them to have to compromise some of their core and defining values (see this social catalyst blog for details), from the grandeur of my bedroom!

At the time various 'interesting' things happened -
  1. a number of blogs were started opposing my actions,
  2. a number of people directly approached me to offer their 'off the record' support,
Fast forward 2 and a bit years years to the present day and the current CIC regulator is staging a well publicised open consultation on the some of the financial aspects of how CICs operate. What wasn't so well publicised is that they've also had a consultation on some of the aspects of the legislation that govern how CICs are managed by their members, boards, and are subject to the overarching Company legislation. Within this 'quieter' consultation the regulator says that they intend to change some of the rules that I previously lobbied against - so have I really changed the governance of over 2,000 social enterprises as a result of what I got up to in my bedroom?

This is told here not as an egotistical example of how great I think I may be, but to encourage you all that where you see a policy or piece of legislation you think isn't right, then take action and lobby - even if its just you sitting in your bedroom one afternoon (as I did when I orginally challenged the CIC rules), the regulator may come to agree with you in time and do the right thing!