Glossary of terms

Business case: A business case is used to obtain management commitment and/or approval for investment in a change to a business or service. The business case provides a framework for planning and management of the business change. The ongoing viability of a project or programme will be monitored against the business case.

Business plan: A business plan is a written document that describes a business, its objectives, its strategies, the market it is in and its financial forecasts. It has many functions, from securing external funding to delivering and measuring success within your business. (Source: Business Link)

Co-design*: An approach that ensures all stakeholders are involved in the design of service, particularly service users.

Commissioning*: The cycle of assessing the needs of people in an area, designing and then capturing appropriate outcomes.

Community Interest Company: A limited company, with special additional features, created for the use of people who want to conduct a business or other activity for community benefit, and not purely for private advantage. This is achieved by a “community interest test” and “asset lock”, which ensures that the CIC is established for community purposes and the assets and profits are dedicated to these purposes. Registration of a company as a CIC has to be approved by the Regulator who also has a continuing monitoring and enforcement role. (Source: CIC Regulator)

Cooperative*: An autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly owned and democratically controlled enterprise.

Co-production*: An approach that focuses on delivering public services in an equal and reciprocal relationship between professionals, service users, their families and their neighbours. Where activities are co-produced in this way, both services and neighbourhoods become far more effective agents of change.

Mutual*: Organisations that are owned by, and run for the benefit of, their current and future members. Mutuals take many forms and operate in a wide range of business and social environments. Most people recognise mutuals through one or more of the long established building societies, co-operatives, friendly societies and mutual insurers. However the sector comprises many more types of organisations – some large and well established like housing associations, clubs and employee-owned businesses to smaller, specialist bodies such as credit unions, football supporter trusts and community mutuals.

Public services*: Services that are provided either directly by state agencies (which includes Lambeth Council) or via alternative providers (which could include a range of different organisations drawn from the third sector or private sector – such as social enterprises, cooperatives, faith groups, community and/or voluntary groups, local businesses or larger companies). A service can be defined as a “public service” if there is a social consensus (usually expressed through democratic elections) that it should be available to all citizens, regardless of income or personal circumstances.

Sectional capture: When certain sections of a community take over at the expense of others. In practice, this may take the form of dominating discussion or consultation, often in the process silencing others. Also referred to as community capture.

Social enterprise: A business with primarily social objectives whose surpluses are principally reinvested for that purpose in the business or in the community, rather than being driven by the need to maximise profit for shareholders and owners. (Source: Business Link)

Third sector: Non-governmental organisations that are value driven and which principally reinvest their surpluses to further social, environmental or cultural objectives. It includes voluntary and community organisations, charities, social enterprises, cooperatives and mutuals. (Source: Transitions, Social Enterprise London)

Time banking*: A scheme that allows people to earn time credits for each hour given in helping other individuals in their local community, working on a project or working for an organisation. In return for their help they can use the time credits for rewards, either financial or non-financial.

Definitions marked with * have been taken from the glossary in Sharing Power: A new settlement between citizens and the state.

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