BECOMING A COMMUNITY BENEFIT SOCIETY (BENCOM)
We are so grateful to have been in receipt of 10 weeks of free social enterprise training with Olmec surrounded by amazing BME women all wanting to set up businesses for good in the form of social enterprises.
Lifeafterhummus will shortly be transitioning to become a Community Benefit Society: a BenCom
We are very excited by this:
– It offers us the chance to ‘Asset lock’
– Involve members of the community and our supporters and amazing volunteers
– To issue community shares
– Qualify to apply for funding to run classes on behalf of projects and communities wanting our classes
– To become sustainable in order to support our social mission
And to ensure that lifeafterhummus belongs to the community and for the community.
The training was funded by Metropolitan housing and the Big Give.
It has empowered the project: We understand Fixed costs, Variable costs, how to calculate our Breakeven point which allows us to project for the year to come using a lean business planning model. And understand what it would take for us to persue our social mission to get our classes clinically commissioned financially.
Taking us through our steps was:
Sam Obeng-Dokyi over 7 sessions took us through our first steps with such attention and patience. And also honesty. His teaching empowered us to understand the various parts of running a business as well as the liabilities and potential pitfalls. He was very giving with his time and gentle with his guidance using and finding the right language to communicate with people who are trying to run businesses for good. You can imagine the amount of passion filling the room week after week.
Nathan Brown shared his love of cooperatives and took us through our paces on Legal structures over 2 sessions. We fell immediately in admiration and love with Community Benefit Socities. Once more we were empowered with knowledge on how to put this into place and how to choose the structure that matches what is right for the project and the first stepper.
Annetta Bennett over half a session took us through our public speaking steps. Confidence, knowledge, preparation and boldness.
Overseeing the whole programme from start to finish was Chief Exec John Mayford and Operations Director Webi Anyia. Olmec do not just train you and leave you, they provide you with follow on support and resources and we’re looking forward to meeting with John in August!
We are now seeking support to implement our chosen legal structure and to implement a marketing strategy.
You can find out more about Olmec here: http://www.olmec-ec.org.uk
As they say in first steps “Ase”.