Legal Status & Governance
Today's episode will help you continue constructing your social enterprise's foundation in choosing your legal structure. There are a few different options for legal structures you can apply for in Ireland. Alongside consolidating this base structure, there are also some notes about best practices for implementing good governance and layers of legal recourse for your enterprise.
Social Entrepreneurs Discuss
As with all businesses, complaints are part and parcel of delivering services or selling products. Hopefully you'll never have to use it, but a complaint policy will provide a comprehensive structure and process which will help both the organisation and the complainer in dealing with the complaint. Here's some support in getting you started. • Try not to take the complaint personally. Complaints can be hurtful, especially when you have invested so much time in the enterprise. However, your ...
As with all businesses, complaints are part and parcel of delivering services or selling products. Hopefully you'll never have to use it, but a complaint policy will provide a comprehensive structure and process which will help both the organisation and the complainer in dealing with the complaint. Here's some support in getting you started.
- Try not to take the complaint personally. Complaints can be hurtful, especially when you have invested so much time in the enterprise. However, your reaction to complaints can demonstrate the qualities of your organisation, that it's well-oiled and competent — whether the complaint was
- Complaints generally come from two streams: a customer/beneficiary, or a grievance from an internal stakeholder such as an employee or a volunteer. Complaints might be informal, so the resolution might be found in a brief and casual chat.
- A formal complaint, however, should go through a transparent process. The first stage is where a complaint is initially lodged in writing or speech, followed by an internal staff member's appointment as the investigator of the complaint. After an investigation, a decision is made by the organisation either to refute the complaint or apologise. There may be further acknowledgement such as compensation or a public statement.
- You may want to utilise your board of advisors to investigate the complaint as a second tier. This is particularly helpful if the complaint concerns you or you have a conflict of interest. Try to make your complaint process as objective, fair and transparent as possible.
A comprehensive guide created in November 2020 by the Thomson Reuters Foundation and Mason Hayes & Curran LLP in efforts to inform and assist its readers in learning more about legal structures available for social enterprises in Ireland.
This resource will help you to understand how the hierarchy of authority affects decision making when developing policies for a social business. It includes a checklist of possible policies you can use to decide on which might be useful to employ in your own social enterprise.
These activities will get you finalising the legal structure of your organisation based on the possibilities discussed in today's lesson. Once you've got this in order, you'll be able to use it as a reference in dealing with legal obstacles and even when applying for grants and opportunities, as these often have requirements in terms of the kinds of organisations they support.
The last few episodes have been quite heavy on the planning and organisation front, which we appreciate can feel overwhelming and sound a bit cumbersome. However, financial planning, organising and good governance can help to put your organisation in good stead and is worth pursuing and developing. Once you build a strong foundation, you'll have these structures to return to when obstacles present themselves instead of fumbling in the dark and wasting precious time and resources under pressure. Remember to utilise your contacts and support organisations that can help lighten the planning load.
No comments yet. Write one!