Film company relaunched as social enterprise
TWO film makers who set up a company while at university have decided to re-launch it as a social enterprise.
Jacqueline Cant and Matthew Dore, of Devonport-based Skymind Studios, are advising other entrepreneurs to examine the social enterprise (SE) model, particularly, if like them, they have hurdles with obtaining finance.
"It was a partnership," said Mr Dore. "But we couldn't apply for funding because our profits were too low, yet we couldn't be a charity because we were making a profit.
"So we looked up social enterprises and are now going to be a profit making SE, but putting the profits back into the community."
Skymind Studios was set up in 2008 when Mr Dore and Miss Cant were film students at Plymouth College of Art.
The business, which provides film, photography and graphic design services, grew from a project to film Plymouth bands at a charity gig the pair had set up.
"Skymind Studios took off," Miss Cant said. "We got studios in Devonport. Then we started to get a lot of jobs in the community. We wanted to build a business that made a profit, but also work in the community. We were at the point of dividing the company in two."
Social enterprises are organisations which apply commercial strategies to improve human and environmental well-being, rather than maximising profits for external shareholders.
Miss Cant explained that her venture had already been involved in community events and had been organising plays for youngsters at Devonport's Welcome Hall community centre.
"We are starting workshops for youngsters and helping other organisations apply for funding," said Miss Cant.
"As an SE we want to be able to change people's opinions in some aspects."
Skymind Studios is now receiving assistance from start-up support organisation Outset Plymouth.