1.2 Eligibility

Is 'geography' a place or can it be a community of interest e.g. disabled people owning shares in a service delivery business for the benefit of the community.]

Societies with a community of interest are eligible for the Booster Programme, subject to their meeting Power to Change’s definition of a community business - see section 7.3 of the Guidance Notes. They must be locally rooted in a place but may well draw on a wider community of interest in terms of their members and investors.

How much match funding support can we expect if we are not in a disadvantaged area? Will it be limited?

Deprivation/disadvantage is a key consideration for the Booster Programme and its funder Power to Change but it is considered along with the rest of the application. The Booster investment criteria can be found in section 2.2.4 of the Guidance Notes. For less disadvantaged places there is no pre-set limit apart from the standard Booster limit of £100K equity match per society.

Will you support new share offers from existing community energy groups?

Yes, assuming they meet the Booster Programme eligibility requirements. To be eligible for the Booster Programme societies must meet Power to Change’s definition of a community business - see section 7.3 of the Guidance Notes.

Can a CIC apply to the Booster Programme?

A Community Interest Company (CIC) is not able to issue community shares and so will not be able to participate in the Booster Programme. However, it is possible to convert from a CIC to a society to be able to use community shares. See the Community Shares Handbook for more information on converting a CIC to a society.

Can Community Interest Companies (CICs) raise money from community shares?

No, CICs cannot issue community shares as they do not operate under society law.

CICs can, and do, sell shares to investors and raise capital from the communities they serve. But they must do this in a way that is completely different from societies.
CICs are a regulated form of company. As such they are fully subject to company law, plus the specific provisions of the CIC regulations. Unlike societies, companies cannot issue withdrawable shares; their shares must be either transferable or redeemable, which requires a different approach to capital liquidity. On the other hand, there are no restrictions on the amount of share capital an individual may hold in a CIC. The dividend cap on CICs may allow investors a higher return on capital than can be offered on shares in societies, as it is based on a proportion of profits (currently 35%) rather than a dividend rate per share. See the Community Shares Handbook for more information on converting a CIC to a society.
 

If you have any questions on the content included within the guidance, please contact the team.