As the Founder of What’s Your Problem?, I am often asked this question when clients contact us, as they say they have been referred to the ‘charity’ What’s Your Problem?, in Paignton. We then explain that we are not a charity at all, we’re actually a social enterprise and we say that with pride.
What’s a social enterprise?
A social enterprise is a business that
trades for the benefit of the community. It has a clear social mission and
reinvests its profit to further its social objectives. There are 100,000 social
enterprises in the UK, using their skills and assets to change the world around
In order to give our social enterprise
a legal structure that works for us we incorporated as a community interest company
(CIC) and not a charity. A CIC is a type of company that exists to benefit the
community and is regulated by the CIC regulator.
It runs very much the same as a
limited company, but with added protection to ensure that the company profits
and assets are used for public good. When I was considering the legal structure
of our social enterprise, the CIC model really appealed to me as it was
flexible and easy to set up, but was regulated and with an asset lock to
protect our mission. It gave us a great way of tackling a wide range of social
issues, while enabling us to protect our assets to further our social
For the benefit our community in Devon, we offer affordable legal support and we arrange advice for people who can’t afford to pay a solicitor. Our fees have been carefully calculated to ensure that they meet the running costs of the business. This means that we can provide value to our clients who need our support, without adding on unnecessary costs to our fees.
Is it hard to run a social enterprise?
It can be difficult at times. We see clients who are struggling with
complex issues and their lives can be very stressful, and often it’s hard not
to take that home. We must also ensure that the needs of the social enterprise
are balanced with the needs of the community, which can be tricky. It is
however, extremely rewarding work and we genuinely love to see positive
outcomes for people who we have helped.
What’s your problem was set up to make the lives of people in Torbay easier. We offer confidential, affordable help and support with any problem, big or small and our main goal is to solve the problem so that your quality of life is improved.