It you are looking to develop the revenue, profitability and standing of your social business while also reducing its cost base, consider establishing a consortia with other social businesses.
Forming a consortium of social enterprises will allow all organisations in the group to work together to source funding and provide services.
Building consortia in the social enterprise sector
Consortia can improve market share for their members by aggregating smaller individual marketing budgets to enable a greater collective marketing effort. They are also able to offer customers collective production or service capacity and specialisms, which meet the needs of larger customers, funding regimes and projects.
The benefits of a social enterprise consortium
A consortia will be able to undertake larger contracts and sub-contract delivery to their members. The group of social enterprises can also provide a mechanism for the development and delivery of various functions, such as:
- Project management
- Quality systems
- Product development
These functions can be provided by staff employed centrally, or through contracting out to member organisations or external sourcing.
Partnering with another social enterprise
For consortia working to be effective, it is important for the members to have a common cause and shared strategic objectives. If a consortium is to be sustainable, it will need to develop a business model that works.
Once you’ve established commitment and identified a viable business, it’s time to put legal agreements in place or form a legal entity that underpins the consortium’s governance, management and operations.
For more details on legal forms suitable for consortia working visit the Co-operatives UK website.
We offer a wealth of information, advice and guidance for social business owners. Below, we’ve listed some more useful resources on social enterprise consortia working: