Thanks to this post on Sarda’s Blog, I’ve just been reading about Community Interest Companies – the gist of it seems to be that a company that is set up for the the good of their community, with the intention of making money to be used for social benefit, can now have that written into the nature of the company, register it as a CIC, and have those aims protected by law even if there are corporate takeovers, shares are bought and sold, changes in management etc.
This – if it works and is what it says it is – is a FANTASTIC step forward in our share-holder obsessed financial-gain-is-everything society. I’ve long held that the conflict of share-holder vs stake-holder is at the very heart of what’s wrong with modern economics, and this new initiative seems to be set up to protect those companies whose activities are for the benefit of it’s stakeholders, even if that is to the detriment (or decreased benefit) of the share holders.
It remains to be seen whether or not this means that ‘ordinary’ companies can write into their code of practice a desire to deal ethically and in an environmentally sound way – I doubt it, as it seems like the legislation is about the primary aims of the company rather than ‘secondary’ ideologies about the nature of running a business, but it’s still one in the eye for those who think that everything exists just to make them money.
I’ll be watching closely to see what happens.
all the legalese and fine print can be found on the dti’s pages about CICs.
Soundtrack – Wayne Shorter, ‘High Life’.by