Company structures and partnerships for significant growth

An expansionary/investment strategy 

On the page on 'The homelessness sector as beneficiaries' (HERE) we had argued that:

‘...The immediate value of the PIElink in the homelessness sector lies in its current (and expanding) role as the mouthpiece for a community of practice, linking researchers, practitioners and policy makers in a field where there is currently both growing public concern and growing research interest. ‘

We do believe that the PIE Abacus, with suitable promotion and 'customer relations marketing' could begin to bring in income that can create an economically sustainable future ( See FAQs: costs and sustainability : HERE); especially with some timely initial philanthropic capital investment ( see: And now a word for our sponsors : HERE)

But the PIElink also has potential as a provider of training material for future professional staff; and there is a potential income stream here which has been largely overlooked in the past. There is therefore a potential business model in prospect, which could bring significant income and/or other benefits to stakeholders, cast now in the role of partners (even, if necessary, as shareholders) of a company.

Here we aim to spell out how this might work.


Is this the future for academic publishing and vocational training?

In publishing terms, the PIElink might well be seen as the prototype for a development in on-line publishing.  The longer term value of the site and the community may even be more in its role as a pilot and a ‘minimum viable product’, offering a testing ground for a concept with far wider application, in academic publication – but fortuitously starting up in a field which lends itself particularly well to such an approach.

'The homelessness sector as beneficiaries' page (HERE) suggests that for Phase Three of an expansionary strategy, an income stream based on subscription fees for the university and professional education sector - a partnership with an existing publisher would be helpful – perhaps necessary.

Though a partnership arrangement with a publisher makes practical sense, there are many forms of partnership structures available, and it is not possible at this stage to explore many of the options here.   Much will depend on the resources already available 'in house' to the organisation that takes on the 'production team' role.

But it is quite it is possible to imagine 'contracting out' ( or 'buying in') event management skills to manage the webinar and forums, leaving the 'production team' to focus on the more journalistic role of seeking suitable material, subjects, speaker etc al.

It is at this point that the advisory group becomes properly an editorial board.


The advisory board in Phases Two and Three (HERE)

An editorial board offers participating agencies influence; and an influence far wider than that of shareholders at an annual general meeting. It allows them to ensure that the content, the medium and the style of the material produced is fully up-to-date and relevant to the needs of the sector.

As shareholders, this helps to ensure that the product or service in which they have a financial interest is well developed. But more significantly, it helps ensure that the public social benefit is maximized.  (See: The homelessness sector as potential beneficiaries : HERE)

However, as noted ( in The homelessness sector as potential beneficiaries), all these UK organisations are social enterprises – most have charitable status – with an assets lock. They can benefit, therefore, from any income the project might eventually make, over and above the wider benefit to society which they are there to promote, provided only that any income is used in pursuance of their original aims.


Social enterprise and social purpose

As social enterprises, however, they are eligible for various forms of state- or philanthropic funded sources of income for investment, at very favourable rates.  Such investment often comes with a condition of the investor taking an equity share; and it is partly for this reason that a proportion of the shares is to be held back, and not gifted at the outset.

The PIEink web community project has therefore now been incorporated as a Community Interest Company limited, under the name of the Psychologically Informed Environments Promotion and Research CIC Ltd, or 'PIEPR' (HERE).

Over 2022-3, we will be actively seeking to find partners, funders and directors willing to take this project on.

For more details, email us.

Useful material

Bear with us; we are still adding text to this section...





And now a word for our sponsors :  HERE

Company partnerships for significant growth :  HERE

An advisory group ( or 'editorial board') for the PIElink : HERE 


Income via the PIE Abacus


FAQs - Costs and sustainability: HERE

Assessing PIE Abacus income for sustainable development : HERE

Company structures, partnerships and a (more) modest strategy for maintaining the PIElink : HERE


Income via the vocational training model

Is this the future of vocational training? :  HERE

Is this the future of academic publishing : HERE

How audio-visuals can add value to academic publishing :   HERE

The homelessness sector as beneficiaries   :  HERE



PIElink sustainability plans A, B & C.   (archive draft)   :  HERE