London Metropolitan University Research Institutes

Developing social enterprise in knowledge economies: The role of Community Interest Companies in community building and knowledge development

Author(s) Athar, A. R. & Hughes, T.  
Publisher London: CiCe  
Year 2012  
Editor P. Cunningham & N. Fretwell (eds.) Creating Communities: Local, National and Global  
Age group -  
This paper looks at the relatively unexplored yet increasingly important role of Community Interest Companies (CIC’s) in community building as well as providing an active platform for social enterprise. The main aim of the paper is to identify key components within the social enterprise framework that have been revitalised by the introduction of CIC’s. The analysis will centre around three major themes, including an increased emphasis on financial viability in CIC’s, a higher degree of autonomy for volunteers functioning under the CIC umbrella, providing leadership opportunities for those committed to communal development, and the role of CIC’s in increasing social awareness and responsibility at the local level for the disabled community. In addition, the authors’ also aim to explore how the inclusive nature of CIC’s - in line with the Companies (Audit, Investigations and Community Enterprise) Act 2004 – has encouraged wider engagement of communities helping deal with the insular nature of counter-cultures within communities especially those concerning individuals with disabilities. Keywords: Community Interest Companies, Social Enterprise, Social Awareness

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