We are a social enterprise - a business with a social mission! We exist to help close the attainment gap faced by disadvantaged young people. We reinvest a majority of retained profits into our social mission and we're members of Social Enterprise UK, the national membership body for social enterprises and the leading global authority on social enterprise.

What are Social Enterprises?

Have you ever read the Big Issue, or drank a cup of Cafédirect coffee? Have you ever visited the Eden Project or shopped at the Co-op? All of these organisations operate as social enterprises. Social enterprises are businesses that are changing the world for the better and can be found in our communities and on our high streets.

Definition of a Social Enterprise

The term “Social Enterprise” describes the purpose of a business, not its legal form. It's defined (by Government) as “a business with primarily social objectives whose surpluses are principally reinvested for that purpose in the business or in the community, rather than being driven by the need to maximise profit for shareholders and owners".

How do Social Enterprises work?

By selling goods and services in the open market, social enterprises reinvest the money they make back into improving society, allowing them to tackle social problems, improve people’s life chances, support communities and help the environment.

The difference between a Charity and a Social Enterprise

Both charities and social enterprises try to further social benefit and achieve philanthropic goals. However, the methods they use to generate income create a fundamental distinction. Whilst charities often fund their good work mainly through donations and fundraising (voluntary income), social enterprises more often often sell products or services (trading income).

Social enterprises aim to generate a profit and some of that profit can be used to pay back investors. This is the social enterprise notion of a blended return; being in business to deliver a social impact as well as (in some cases) an economic return.

This feature of a social enterprise distinguishes it from a charity, which is by definition non-profit. This also means that the funding & investment landscape for social enterprise spans both the charity and the commercial sectors, allowing social enterprises to attract both grant-making / philanthropic funding and commercial investment, such as debt and equity.

How are Social Enterprises regulated?

There is no single regulator for social enterprises. Unlike charities, social enterprises take a range of legal forms so they are regulated by a range of different bodies. For example:

  • Standard companies limited by share and guarantee are regulated by Companies House
  • Community Interest Companies are regulated by Companies House and the Community Interest Company Regulator
  • Social enterprises with charitable status are regulated by the Charity Commission

Fundamentally, being a social enterprise is about adopting a set of operational principles. These include:

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

Our Legal Structure

Social enterprises may take a variety of legal forms. Regardless of the legal form chosen, there are two fundamental principles to consider:

  • It's not the legal structure that makes an organisation a social venture – it is its activities
  • The immediate, and future, funding and income generating opportunities will have a major impact on the structure chosen

We are a private limited company, registered at Companies House. We have a board consisting of one executive director and two non-executive directors who are accountable for our strategy, activities and performance.

Our Charitable Purpose

We reinvest a majority of retained profits in our social mission. This charitable purpose is defined within our Articles of Association and has been externally validated by the Charities Aid Foundation. We have the following mechanisms in place to secure that charitable purpose:

Mission Lock: A mission lock ensures the intended social purpose of a venture remains its primary objective in the long term. Our social mission lock has two elements:

  • A social purpose statement written into our governing documents – the company’s object "is to help close the attainment gap"
  • An operational commitment clause that ensures a majority of retained profits are used to further the social purpose – we can either reinvest in our programme of free talks or outdoor experiences for the most disadvantaged young people, or donate this to another charity with a similar mission

Asset Lock: An Asset Lock is designed to ensure that the assets of the venture (including any profits or other surpluses generated by its activities) are used for the benefit of the community. Our Asset Lock requires us to:

  • Transfer/sell our assets at full market value, and not below
  • In the event of insolvency, all assets will be donated to the Venture Trust, a charity with a similar social mission

In addition, we have agreed with a funder SE-Assist Wales that we will pay no dividends for three years, which further strengthens our charitable purpose. The SE-Assist Wales funding is managed by CAF Venturesome who completed an in-depth due diligence process to validate this charitable purpose.

We can and do accept donations and grants, but the majority of our income is generated through trading, by selling inspirational talks and UK and overseas mountain adventures.

Donations Grants