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How our society is changing and why CIC’s are leading the way

The shit hit the fan on so many fronts around 2020. People had had enough and the march towards fundamental changes in our society picked up at a fast pace. 

The Pandemic years also exposed weaknesses in the system. 

To name just a few issues now in a critical state;

1.) Crime. The criminal justice system has all but collapsed, court backlogs, reduced sentencing, prisons full, violent and organised crime drastically increasing, the probation service, police, cps, prisons all over worked and under resourced. 

2.) Education. Record increase in school exclusion, trend in homeschooling due to lack of confidence in mainstream education, lack of resources of learning disabilities, bullying, abuse and self harm amount children up and spreading online. 

3.) Health. NHS crisis on all fronts. No face to face GP appointments and long waiting lists resulting in missing opportunity in early diagnoses and intervention in both physical and mental health. 

4.) Cost of Living crisis. Wages no longer pay enough to live with rising inflation, rent increases, difficulties getting a mortgage. 

5.) Inequalities. We have been educated in recent years and started talking about the inequalities that exist around race, gender, disability and class. 

While that's a bleak picture and it is absolutely serious, I see a lot of hope and opportunity. 

Humans are resilient and we evolve with changing circumstances. We naturally seek solutions. 

As a CIC consultant I am witnessing an incredible shift in our society and I'm so excited and passionate about it. 

We shouldn't always look to the government to change our lives. Often change comes from the roots, the front line, the people. 

Here are some of the trends I am noticing among new community interest companies;

  • Public sector professionals leaving their jobs to set up CIC's that help solve problems because they were frustrated when employed they were a part of the problem. 

  • Loads of return to nature projects running community gardens, growing for food banks, alternative play and education in nature, mindfulness in nature activities.

  • Alternative mental health solutions such as mindfulness, nutrition, creative arts activities.

  • Mentoring young people projects and peer to peer led activities reaching out to the hard to reach in a way that is relatable to young people steering them away from crime.

  • Drive towards inclusion in history, heritage and culture. Lots of black community projects, research and events going on.

  • Alternative careers projects aimed at disadvantaged young people drafting them into arts and media careers and entrepreneurship. 

I could go on but you get my drift! 

Basically community interest companies are being started by people who are getting together with people in their community and taking the initiative to grow an impactful project that does the work the state is failing to do. 

There's a clear drive back to basics and it's wonderful to see. 

With all of this positivity there needs to be some attention paid to how all these great projects will be sustainable long term. 

The increase in CIC's and the reduction in available funding now we are out of the EU presents real challenges for CIC's. 

We need to get creative and entrepreneurial. Grants are great but they are not sustainable as an income. Ultimately a CIC needs to grow to being self-sufficient . 

The best way to do this is build in a income stream from the following;

  • Get a contract from a local authority or other organisation to do some work for them. 

  • Charge more affluent customers for some activities, products or services. 

  • Create automated income from digital products and services like an online course, membership, books, other online sales or affiliate marketing commission though your website. 

Do this and you will be sustainable. You can then pick and choose your grant funding pots. 

With a growth in this sector there is a growth for knowledge. People are looking for information you may have in your niche CIC. This is your chance at this early stage in this movement to leverage yourself to be a go to person in your field. 

Be at the forefront of this movement and inspire others to follow your lead. 

Kexx 🫶🏼

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