We are now officially a CIC!
As of Monday 21 August, the Accessible Waterways Association is now a Community Interest Company (CIC). It has taken a while, whilst we sorted a few things out, but this is an important step in the growth of our association.
Why a CIC not a Charity?
There are many pros and cons between the two types of organisation and we may choose to become a charity at a later date. The main deciding factors were that to register as a CIC is quicker and easier than becoming a charity and that as a CIC we can more easily raise money by trading. We are limited by guarantee, which means that we cannot pay dividends and any profits have to be reinvested back into the CIC.
What does this mean?
Registering as a CIC can provide a wide range of benefits. Firstly, it allows us to pursue our social and environmental objectives whilst still being able to generate an income. Second, it provides credibility and recognition, as CICs are registered with the government and are subject to greater transparency and accountability requirements. Third, it allows us to access funding that is specifically targeted towards socially driven projects. Finally, being a CIC can attract socially responsible investors and customers who are looking to support companies that have a positive impact on society.
We have had initial funding from UnLtd, which has given us a head start. With our CIC status, we are now able to seek additional funding to help us make more of an impact. We are organising a celebration of the International Day of People with Disabilities in partnership with the Canal & River Trust, and are raising money to ensure that this event will be free to attend. As well as being a great social and educational time, we are using this opportunity to get other waterways authorities involved.
Link to AWA on Companies House
Full details of our registration and documents can be found here on the Companies House website.