What makes you “officially” a Social Enterprise?

 ‘A social enterprise is a business with primarily social objectives whose surpluses are principally reinvested in the business or in the community, rather than being driven by the need to maximise profit for shareholders and owners.’

(The definition from the original Welsh Government Social Enterprise Strategy for Wales, 2005)

Social enterprise is not a legal term, but an approach. The phrase is used to describe businesses that exist for a social purpose. You can’t register your business legally as a social enterprise. There are various legal forms that are used to incorporate social enterprises. Social enterprise is about adopting a set of principles, this is regardless of what form the organisation takes. So if you have these in place – you are acting as a social enterprise.
These include:

  • Having a clear social and/or environmental mission (set out in the governing    documents)
  • Generating the majority of your income through trade
  • Reinvesting the majority of your profits to further the social mission 

(April 2014 – Taken from Social Enterprise UK website)

The legal forms you will be trading under:

  1. Unincorporated Organisation
  2. Company Ltd by Guarantee
  3. Community Interest Company
  4. Industrial and provident Society – Co-operative model
  5. Industrial and provident Society – Community Benefits model
  6. Charitable incorporated Org
  7. Charitable Trust

Funding for Social Enterprise

Conwy have a discretionary small grant available to Social/Community Enterprise who contribute towards the main objectives set out in, Corporate Plan and Community Development Service outcomes.

What are Social Enterprise Places?

Social Enterprise Places are parts of the UK where social enterprise activity is thriving. From quarters, towns, cities and zones, areas around the UK are declaring themselves as social enterprise places committed to investing in the sector. Social Enterprise UK is recognising these hotspots of social enterprise activity by awarding them with the Social Enterprise Place badge, celebrating their achievements and supporting them to grow

Social Enterprise Places Website


Social Enterprise Business Solutions (formerly known as the ‘Think Tank’) was established and first met in September 2012 to create a voice for Social Enterprise in Conwy.

The group is made up of leaders within the Social Enterprise sector and provides a valuable forum for Executives of Social Enterprises to come together to network, explore joint working initiatives, share good practice as well as giving the social enterprise sector the opportunity to engage with Conwy County Borough Council and other statutory bodies.

The group were successful in being awarded Social Enterprise Place recognition 2015 in order to celebrate and properly acknowledge the vast range of successful social enterprises that are providing services and goods across the region, and significantly contributing to Conwy’s local economy.



Social Enterprise Places Conwy


Information Links:

Wales Co-op Centre Wales Coop

W.C.V.A. Wales Council for Voluntary Action

C.V.S.C. Community Voluntary Support Conwy

Social Enterprise UK

Social Firms Wales

Welsh Government – Social Enterprise Strategy/ Action plan

Business Wales

Development Trust Association

Menter Gymdeithasol Social Enterprise Logo

Conwy Business Centre