Exeter Chamber of Commerce and ESSENCE: a new relationship
1st February 2018 For several years Exeter Chamber of Commerce has hosted the Exeter Social Enterprise Network (ESSENCE) as one of its membership sub-groups. In March 2018, ESSENCE incorporates as a Community Interest Company (CIC). This allows ESSENCE to have its own membership, and form its own relationships with partner organisations.
However, their close relationship continues with ESSENCE CIC becoming a member of the Chamber. This means that the Social Enterprise voice can be heard in all the right places that Chamber has access to. Furthermore, the Chamber and ESSENCE will join forces in advertising and hosting events; ESSENCE members will be able to attend Chamber events at Chamber member prices and vice versa.
ESSENCE thanks the Chamber for its involvement so far and we look forward to building a strong, inclusive and local, social economy together!
ESSENCE hosts its Relaunch Partyon 20th March 2018, where it will present its renewed membership offering. Come and join us for inspiration, networking with like-minded people, acquiring new business opportunities, whilst having some nibbles and drinks.
Exciting Development News
12th December 2017 On Tuesday 5th December 2017 members of ESSENCE voted for ESSENCE to incorporate as a Community Interest Company. As a result we will now seek a new relationship with the Exeter Chamber of Commerce. The next three months we will be designing our new membership offering including the membership fee structure.
THE BACKGROUND As many of you know, ESSENCE was granted EU-funding in order to work out a sustainable way forward as a network organisation. The funding can only be received by an incorporated body. Also, as much as we have been fantastically supported by the Exeter Chamber, it is in line with our mission is to build the network and reach social enterprises that can't afford the Chamber membership fee. We have therefore decided to become an independent body with its own fee structure which is more affordable to smaller social enterprises. ESSENCE CIC intends to become a member of the Chamber. This way ESSENCE CIC and its members can still enjoy the relationship with other Exeter businesses as well as other benefits the Chamber has to offer.
TWO TYPES OF MEMBERSHIP ESSENCE CIC will hold a policy of being open to anyone that supports, identifies as or aspires to be socially enterprising whilst at the same time ensuring we benefit our intended target group the most: social enterprises and social businesses in Exeter and the surrounding area. In order to honour both principles, there will be two types of memberships: 1) Company or Full Membership, 2) Network or Associate Membership. Full membership is open to those organisations ESSENCE CIC deems to be social enterprises/social businesses (criteria to be confirmed). They will be able to influence the company by having the right to vote. With that comes the liability in the form of a payment of £1, should anything go wrong with ESSENCE CIC. Associate membership is open to those individuals and organisations that are supporting and/or aspiring to be socially enterprising. They enjoy all member benefits that are going to be defined under the new membership offering (see below). However, they don't have any voting rights nor are they liable.
BECOMING A MEMBER Are you excited by all this already? Don't hesitate to contact Daphne to join: firstname.lastname@example.org. By becoming a member you commit to paying the membership fees that will come into effect in March 2018. You will also get to have a say in the design of the membership offering and its fee structure. You will be joined by a good number of people that registered at the General Meeting on 5th December 2017 as new members of ESSENCE CIC, The idea is to launch this new membership offering in March 2018. If you would like to become a member or have any questions, do let us know at email@example.com.