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University co-hosts Community Interest Company 10-year anniversary celebration

Speaker David Hunter at CIC event

David Hunter of Bates Wells Braithwaite LLP, one of the speakers at the 10th anniversary celebrations of the Community Interest Company

24 July 2015

The Centre for Law and Enterprise at the University of Bristol Law School co-hosted an event earlier this month to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Community Interest Company (CIC), which helps social enterprises structure their businesses in ways that are compatible with their social, environmental and economic objectives.

The full-day event, with plenary, workshop and question-time sessions, brought together social entrepreneurs, local councillors, civil servants, national and international policy-makers, academics and practitioners, to engage in some constructive stock taking, reflection and debate. It also offered social enterprises and community organisations from around Bristol and from further afield the opportunity to showcase their work to others in the sector and more widely.

Among the speakers were Sara Burgess, the Regulator for Community Interest Companies, who co-hosted the event; George Ferguson, the Mayor of Bristol; Professor Wendy Larner, Dean of the University’s Faculty of Social Sciences and Law; Karl Belizaire, Director of the Bristol-based influential social enterprise Social Enterprise Works CIC; David Hunter from leading social enterprise law firm Bates Wells Braithwaite LLP; and Paula Woodman, senior advisor on social enterprise at the British Council.

The event brought out some of the great success stories of Community Interest Companies, and addressed some of significant continuing challenges that many CIC, and social enterprises more widely, have faced over the past ten years, including issues around investment and finance, legal structure and governance, accounting for social value and social impact, and tackling the complexities of public service commissioning and access to public procurement opportunities.

The Law School’s Centre for Law and Enterprise is committed to tackling these issues, with a particular focus on legal issues around incorporation, public procurement and corporate governance of social enterprises. The Centre is dedicated to producing research and support that is developed in close collaboration with social enterprises and their stakeholders, to provide effective advice, information and materials.

This event was organised by the Centre for Law and Enterprise, University of Bristol Law School, in collaboration with Policy Bristol, University of Bristol; Sara Burgess, Regulator of Community Interest Companies; Social Enterprise Works CIC; Bates Wells Braithwaite LLP; and June Burrough, Social Entrepreneur and Founder Director of the Pierian Centre.

For more information, please contact the Centre’s Director, Nina Boeger, at

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