Worker Co-operative CICs (Community Interest Companies) - do we have a list? do you know any?

Hi all,

I am one of 5 therapists setting up a Therapy Worker Cooperative enterprise in south east London and we are currently exploring business plan options.

In order to house our therapy practice, we aim to bid for premises from the council or other subsidised or more affordable sources.

Nearly all of us work individually in private practice to some degree and offer sessions at a ‘sliding scale’: financially resourced people paying a full fee and those with less or no means paying less or nothing.

Although we recognise that our coop’s business plan doesn’t have to choose one side of the scale or the other, there is a question in my mind about prioritisation and whether, if the consensus is that we prioritise offering low-fee or free therapy, we need to make funding and grants our primary income.

In this scenario, I am aware we could not be a charity but we could be a CIC so I wanted to check if there is a list of Worker Co-operative CICs or if there isn’t, if people could shout out those worker-coop CICs they know so I can look into them and try to find which might serve as a good potential model for what we might expect (e.g. the potential consequences of giving up ‘profit distribution’).

I have been searching the threads on Loomio and on here and I have so far only identified the following:

Ipswich Bike Kitchen CIC

I also noticed some people who seem particularly knowledgable about this combination and so I am @-ing them - hope you don’t mind:

@NathanBrown
@coopsmark

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Black Cat (aberdeen) CIC
Bristol Bike Project CIC
Community Dental Services CIC
Learning Wellbeing Psuchology CIC - Incidentally another new start-up so definately worth talking to
Transistion By design Co-operative

My take as a much less experianced co-op development adviser is that originally “we” poo,pooed the CIC model that is wasn’t in keeping with Co-op Principles and so tell people not to do it, a bit like we convince people to set-up societies over companies… When in reality the vast majority of other social enteprises have switched over to CIC’s. So whether we like it or not are a more well known model for mainstream people. As a case in point we just applied for some funding and CIC was on the list of organisations they would fund, normal companies and socieites were not. So yesbeing Charitiable gets you access to a lot more grant funding, but limits trading, but CIC’s do open up some grant funding not open to other legal forms so if you hare happy with the restrictions that come with being a CIC its probably worth it.

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The Somerset model rules support several legal forms:

I’d suggest asking them for advice.

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There are another few there if you search with the full string community interest company or ‘c.i.c’

There are also a few more that are hidden away. To filter for these (and other legal forms )in the map would require enabling filtering across more fields of the data. But here they are…
B Active N B Fit
Commons Law
FilmBee
Hackney Co-operative Developments (HCD)
Sail Boat Project
Care, Education and Religion Support Workers
The Acupuncture Works (MAAP)

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Thanks John, it’s good to get a different point of view, for us to weigh it all up together.

I will approach those CIC’s and check which is a worker coop and what their experiences have been like.

Thanks a lot for those extras Colm, I will experiment with the search function as you suggest, and see what I can turn up.

Thanks Chris. I have been interested in the Multi-stakeholder coop approach for a long time, as something to work towards once a worker coop is prospering.

It’s great to see there is an established model out there already.

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