The months that followed our launch back in March have been really successful (as explained in our October newsletter) and as a result of this, Women in Bids and Proposals has now become a Community Interest Company (CIC)!
In order to take the group forward, to achieve more of our long term goals, and to ensure that the group has more stability, we decided to formalise WIBAP and make a stronger commitment to our members and the bid and proposal industry.
We wanted to explain exactly what this means…
What is a community interest company?
A Community Interest Company (CIC) is a type of social enterprise. Similarly to a charity it has a statement which clearly defines its mission and how it plans to achieve its goals. There are restrictions on how it can spend its money, whereby the “asset lock” states that it must reinvest any revenue that it generates in supporting its community and furthering its mission.
The CIC Regulator will ensure that we are acting responsibly. WIBAP will file an annual report describing how its activities over the financial year have benefited the community, along with financial details and how we have involved our members. The Regulator ensures that Community Interest Companies operate in a manner compatible with their status and that they continue to satisfy the community interest test.
What does this mean for WIBAP?
The main change is that we now have a formal business entity. This enables us to seek sponsorship, grant funding, and utilise other forms of revenue to ensure our group is sustainable. This means more content, more events and more engagement with our members!
If you would like to talk to us about sponsorship or other ways to support us, we’d love to hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Are there any changes for our members?
We will be continuing to run more events and socials, and providing you with extra content and advice on our online platforms. Even more blogs, polls, surveys and proposals problems will be featured going forward!
Our membership structure is slightly changing; however we will still be providing a free membership option to everyone, known as our Affiliate Member plan. Our Affiliate Members will continue to have access to our website, the members’ area and our LinkedIn and Instagram community, and receive all of the same great benefits that they have now!
For those who would like to get more out of the group, we will be introducing an Associate Member plan, where at an affordable price you will be able to receive all of the benefits of our free plan, plus even more extras including discounts and extra opportunities to be involved with WIBAP.
The full details and access to our brand new plan will be available very soon!
We’re still a community group and we won’t achieve our goals without the participation and involvement of the WIBAP community. We hope that our new structure will allow us to meet the needs of our members even more successfully, and achieve our mission as an organisation through:
Providing networking opportunities for our members, utilising regional WIBAP groups
Providing support and guidance for our members: directly, online, at events and through workshops
Providing sessions which will teach methodologies and toolkits which will help organisations to monitor and embrace diversity within their bid and proposal functions
Helping to attract young people to careers within the profession
Targeting and overcoming the difficulties and concerns that both men and women face within bid and proposal roles.
Finally, thank you to everyone who has helped us since we launched in March, we couldn't have made it this far without the organisations who are supporting us and all of our brilliant members!
If you have any questions about our new CIC status, membership or events, please get in touch (email@example.com)!