The UK’s first circular business model : introducing Blue Patch


Have we reached boiling point?

Today’s hyper-competitive economy makes running a business stressful and risky. Cost cutting to ‘remain in the game’ means the quality of products and services may be compromised and environmental negligence, long work hours and financial risk affect wellbeing – we’re burning out!

Time for a new approach to business

10 years of research and development underpins the Blue Patch business model, which evolved from a small drawing and bootstrap website to a perfectly formed Collective, united by an online platform and sustained by members and supporters.

What problem does Blue Patch address?

Blue Patch members are exceptional and sustainable small and medium enterprises (SMEs) heritage manufacturers, artisans, socially positive enterprises and local entrepreneurs. This sector are perfectionists and put their customers first. They also have smaller marketing budgets compared to large companies and corporations. However, being seen by customers matters, it marks the difference between failure and success.

Blue Patch’s mission is to showcase member’s products and services to a wider audience.

How do we help?

Blue Patch provides a businesses directory. Members can also apply for opportunities to reach a wider audience in a cost effective way. They can also collaborate or share resources through the network. (Join Blue Patch).

How does Blue Patch make money?

Blue Patch is funded through annual membership subscriptions. Patron-members support the Blue Patch Sustainable Business Awards.

How is it spent?

Blue Patch employs a small team in London to manage the website and create opportunities. A team of professional web developers built and now maintain the website. No wage exceeds the national average in accordance with roles and responsibilities. We pay UK tax and the London Living Wage.

What about surplus profits?

Surplus profit is the money that remains after core business costs: office rent, equipment, wages, website, marketing and (UK) taxes, have been met.

Growing a national social enterprise on the scale of Blue Patch requires great patience, so surplus profits will only become available as the membership scales. There is a fine balance between growth and keeping the company agile enough to respond to shifts in the economy.

Blue Patch’s ultimate goal is to make a surplus profit. When this happens the business model ‘hypothesis’ proves worthy of becoming a theory. We hope others will like and use the same businesses model.

Why does Blue Patch want to make a surplus income and what happens to it?

We want Blue Patch to be successful and success means we could make more money than we spend on the core business costs. Normally surplus income is distributed to shareholders through dividends. Because we are a social enterprise with no shareholders, we are going to distribute the surplus in a new way! This is the crux of the business model:

100% of Blue Patch’s surplus income will be invested into renewable energy and support community and conservation programmes.

How will this happen?

Firstly Blue Patch members will be informed of any surplus income at the end of the tax year.

Secondly a list of potential recipients, drawn up in advance by Team Blue Patch, will be approved by members of a voluntary board (This board will be randomly selected from the membership on an annual basis to have an overview and approve the shortlist.)

Thirdly, all Blue Patch Members receive information about potential recipients and vote (one vote per member) on where we invest or donate, ensuring regional distribution, transparency and fairness.

Finally, 12 months later the voluntary board will audit outcomes and we’ll report back to members.

NB Investments in Renewables: dividends return to Blue Patch.

Our company structure

Blue Patch is part of Cool It World Ltd (CIW), a founder-owned private company Limited by Guarantee. An ‘asset lock*’ protects Blue Patch’s mission and legacy: the business cannot be sold for private profit or become a profit making venture for shareholders.

A business fit for the future

Blue Patch see money as a force for good, funding socially and environmentally positive outcomes to benefit all of us.

Active and wisely distributed money sustains local employment, creates new green spaces, preserves species and generates low carbon communities.

Join Blue Patch and help us to realise the Power of Positive Business!

Brighton Energy Cooperative

Brighton Energy Cooperative: Blue Patch’s very first investment – 300 shares in 2019.

Become a Friend, Business Member or Patron

Please contact Team Blue Patch  +44 (0) 20 7738 7267

*asset lock – the money in the company can only be used for the mission described above. If the company were to be sold, the capital remains ‘locked to the mission’ and cannot be distributed to owners or any other parties.