What is the 3rd Sector

What is the 3rd Sector?

The 3rd Sector is made up of 3 distinct organisational models namely Charities | Social Enterprises | and Voluntary Organisations.

To check to see if an organisation is a social enterprise there are 5 essential elements you should look out for that show us apart from the usual business set-up model, all held within a voluntary code of practice.


A Social Enterprise (SE) is a trading business – selling goods and services – but whose primary objective is to achieve social and/or environmental benefit. SEs are different from those charities and voluntary organisations which do not aspire to financial independence through trading.


Regardless of its legal form, the constitution of a SE will include the requirement that profits are reinvested in the business or in the beneficiary community – and not distributed to private owners, shareholders or investors.


The constitution will always require that on dissolution, the assets of the SE are reinvested in another organisation with similar aims and objectives. Taken together Criteria 2 and 3 are referred to as the ‘asset lock’ – the defining characteristic of a SE – which distinguishes it from the private sector.


SEs are constituted and managed in an accountable and transparent way – particularly with regard to the community they serve.


SEs are distinct from the public sector and cannot be the subsidiary of a public body.

Ceangail CIC in the 3rd Sector

Ceangail CIC [Community Interest Company] is a social enterprise limited by guarantee with an asset lock, and is approved by the CIC Regulator.

It has a core social mission as well as an environmental mission for its events.

The organisation is Governed by a Board of Directors, none of whom are related, and who report to Companies House as well as HMRC just like most other businesses.

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Scotland's Social Enterprise Impact

Social Enterpises in Scotland
GVA to Scottish Economy
£ 0 bn
Selling Direct to Consumers
0 %
Net Worth of Scotland's #SocEnt
0 bn


Ceangail CIC has membership with the following organisations.

Social Enterprise UK

Social Enterprise Scotland

Forth Valley Chamber

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