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June 07, 2018

Social Enterprise

Social Enterprise

We are one of the leading firms advising social enterprises, by which Stone King means a venture with a social or environmental mission at its heart. This can encompass many charities, but also includes numerous other entities that we work with, such as community interest companies, community benefit societies, co-operatives and also, increasingly, normal share companies which want to make a difference in a social space.

We are widely regarded as experts advising in the field of social enterprise. We have been instructed, for instance, by The University of Cambridge in relation to their Cambridge Social Ventures programme to guide award winners on establishment and related matters. We also carry out the training introducing the social sector to all OnPurpose associates and the social finance intermediaries carrying out the Big Society Capital induction programme.

Our recent work includes:

  • Advising many start-ups on establishment. See our table summarising the different social enterprise forms here and their advantages and disadvantages: Structure table
  • Advising a number of social enterprise groups, set up in a variety of innovative ways. This has included advising on a restructuring within a group which contains CICs, charities and non-charitable guarantee companies and advising on how best to coordinate activities within the group.
  • Advising on the use of golden shares, where a charity or other steward holds a veto within a (typically) non-charitable social enterprise to ensure certain key factors, usually that it stays true to its original mission.
  • Advising on the available certifications in the social enterprise sector, such as marks and standards.
  • Advising various social enterprises on raising finance, including on the application of social investment tax relief – see also our Social Finance work. We have also worked closely with our social finance colleagues on impact reporting and related matters.
  • Advising enterprises on all elements of trading and income generation, including tendering, public sector delivery and contract terms.

Key partners


Core partner of E3M, Stone King, provides expertise and shares experience and knowledge about the key ingredients for successful social enterprise development and growth.