Our Charter

1 The name of the institution

1.1 The name of the institution shall be ‘The York Guild of Entrepreneurs’, hereinafter known as “The Guild”.

2 The aims of the institution
2.1 The aims of The Guild shall be to promote excellence in entrepreneurship in
York and to inspire, encourage and support entrepreneurial individuals who have
active connections to the city.
2.2 Specifically, The Guild shall:
– encourage fellowship and collaboration between entrepreneurs and provide a
network of formal and informal support for its members;
– actively forge links with other institutions including – but not limited to –
schools, colleges and universities, to help them develop their
entrepreneurial agendas;
– take a visible and active lead in encouraging local people to nurture their
creative thinking and support their business ideas;
and
– use its collective voice to inform and develop the city with regard to
business and entrepreneurial growth and to contribute to civic life.

3 The powers of the institution
3.1 In order to achieve its aims, The Guild may:
– raise money;
– open and operate banking accounts;
3
– take out insurances;
– obtain and pay for goods and services necessary to run The Guild and
maintain its activities;
– hire, rent or lease premises to run The Guild’s activities and manage its
business;
– organise and promote activities and events;
– work with similar groups and institutions and exchange information and
advice with them;
– establish related charitable institutions;
and
– do anything that is lawful that will help it to fulfil The Guild’s aims.

4 The membership of The Guild
4.1 Full membership of The Guild shall be open to individuals over the age of
18 who can demonstrate a current and active interest in or association with
entrepreneurial activity in the city of York, who are interested in furthering The
Guild’s aims, who accept The Guild’s values and standards and who have paid any
annual subscription that may be agreed from time to time by The Guild’s Court of
Assistants.
4.2 Associate membership of The Guild shall be open to individuals who may
not qualify for full membership but who are nevertheless interested in furthering
The Guild’s aims, who accept The Guild’s values and standards and who have paid
any annual subscription agreed by The Guild’s Court of Assistants.
4.3 Every full member of The Guild shall have one vote at General Meetings and
at the Annual Convocation of The Guild.
4.4 The Guild’s Court may terminate the membership of any full or associate
member for any good reason, by a majority vote at a Court meeting, as long as
that member has had the opportunity to make their case to the Court of
Assistants before a final decision is agreed.
4.5 The Court of Assistants may from time to time invite and appoint suitably
prominent and qualified individuals from outside its membership to serve as
honorary Patrons of The Guild with such individuals enjoying associate member
status and undertaking a special ambassadorial and/ or ceremonial role in
championing The Guild, its work and entrepreneurship in the city.

5 The Guild’s values and standards
5.1 The Guild shall be committed to conducting all of its activities fairly, honestly
and openly.
5.2 The highest standards of professional and personal behaviour shall be
expected of all Guild members participating in The Guild’s activities.
5.3 The highest standards of professional and personal behaviour shall be
especially expected of those members elected to office in The Guild’s Court of
Assistants where individuals are serving in positions of influence over decisions
that may have significant impact upon others. Court members shall avoid the risk
of compromising their impartiality – or any such a perception – by not accepting
personal gifts or hospitality and shall always declare personal or pecuniary
interests. In all such cases, decisions shall be taken in a fair and balanced way that
can withstand external scrutiny.
5.4 The Guild shall hold as core values the promotion of inclusiveness and the
valuing of diversity. The Guild shall seek to ensure that the institution’s
environment is a supportive one and that its culture is one where respect is
shown to all. All members – regardless of their gender, race, ethnic or cultural
background, (dis)ability, sexual orientation, age, religion, socio-economic status
or any other factor – shall be supported and encouraged to participate in all
aspects of The Guild’s activities and governance and to perform to their potential.
5.5 The Guild shall not seek to concern itself with the private lives of its
members unless they are deemed to affect its effective operation or to negatively
impact upon its reputation. Should concerns of these kinds arise, then they shall
be duly considered by the Court of Assistants.
5.6 Should any dispute concerning The Guild arise amongst its members, then
attempts at mediation to resolve the matter shall be made by the Court of
Assistants and it shall be expected that, in the interests of fellowship and
harmony in The Guild, those members involved shall willingly participate in that
process.

6 The management of The Guild
6.1 The Guild shall be administered by a Court of Assistants comprising not
less than six and not more than ten full members elected at an Annual
Convocation of The Guild. Each member elected to the Court of Assistants shall
hold office for a term of one year before standing down or seeking re-election.
6.2 The officers of the Court of Assistants shall be:
– The Master of The Guild (who shall take a lead role in developing The
Guild’s agenda, projects and activities, provide ceremonial leadership,
represent The Guild at formal and informal occasions and who shall
chair meetings of The Guild and of the Court of Assistants);
– The Beadle (who shall assist the Master of The Guild in discharging any
and all of his or her responsibilities and deputise for the Master of The
Guild as necessary);
– The Treasurer (who shall be responsible for the sound management of The
Guild’s finances, banking arrangements and the presentation of accounts);
– The Clerk to the Guild (who shall be responsible for The Guild’s records,
correspondence, administration and constitutional and legal compliance);
– The Events Director (who shall be responsible for the arrangement and
delivery of The Guild’s calendar of meetings, events and activities);
and
– The Marketing Director (who shall be responsible for raising the profile of
The Guild within the city and for promoting The Guild’s projects, events
and activities).
– In addition, up to four Court members without portfolio – or with responsibility
for specific projects or activities as may be determined by the Court from time to
time – may be elected.
6.3 Decisions shall be made by a majority of Court members present and voting.
In the case of a tied vote, the Master of The Guild (or the Beadle, if deputising for
the Master of The Guild) shall have the casting vote.
6.4 Should an election fail to deliver sufficient office holders for The Guild’s
business to be conducted properly, should a member or members stand down
from office mid-term, or should it be considered necessary to augment the Court
in order to take account of specific projects or activities, the Court of Assistants
may appoint not more than three co-opted members, provided the total number
of Court members at any time does not exceed ten. Any co-opted Court
members shall serve until the next Annual Convocation when they may stand for
election by The Guild’s membership.
6.5 The Guild’s Court of Assistants shall meet as frequently as deemed necessary
to manage The Guild’s business effectively and at least four times a year.

7 The finances of the Guild
7.1 The funds of The Guild shall be paid into an account in the name of ‘The
York Guild of Entrepreneurs’ operated by The Guild’s Court of Assistants.
7.2 All cheques and financial transactions must be signed by at least two
members of the Court of Assistants and must be approved by the Court on
behalf of The Guild.
7.3 The funds belonging to The Guild shall be used only to further the aims of
The Guild.

8 The Guild’s Annual Convocation
8.1 There shall be an annual meeting of The Guild to be known as The Guild’s
Annual Convocation, to be held in the month of June – or as soon as possible
afterwards – each year.
8.2 The Guild’s full and associate members will be given at least twenty-one
days notice of the date, time, venue and agenda of the Annual Convocation.
8.3 The Master of The Guild and Court of Assistants shall present the report and
accounts of the preceding year at the Annual Convocation.
8.4 Nominations for election for full members of The Guild to serve on The
Guild’s Court of Assistants must be made in advance in writing to the Clerk to The
Guild or in person at the Annual Convocation. Those proposing individuals must
be full members of The Guild and must have first obtained the nominee’s
consent.

9 General meetings of The Guild
9.1 The Court may call a special General Meeting of The Guild at any time, with
twenty-one days notice given to all full and associate members.

10 Quora
10.1 The quorum for any General Meeting of The Guild – including the Annual
Convocation – shall be ten full members.
10.2 The quorum for any meeting of The Guild’s Court of Assistants shall be
four duly elected or co-opted members.

11 Alterations to The Guild’s Charter
11.1 Alterations to The Guild’s Charter may only be made at a General Meeting
– or at The Guild’s Annual Convocation – after a proposal has been circulated to
all full members of The Guild with twenty-one days notice presenting notification
of the proposed change and the date time and place of the meeting at which the
proposed amendment is to be discussed and voted upon. Alterations to the
Charter shall require approval of two thirds of full members present and voting at
the meeting.

12 Winding up of the institution
12.1 The Guild may only be wound up at a special General Meeting called for
that purpose. The proposal to wind up The Guild must be advertised twenty-one
days before the meeting. The decision to wind up shall require the approval of
two thirds of full members present and voting at the meeting.
12.2 Surplus funds of The Guild if it is dissolved, shall be returned to the donor
or donors where possible. If this is not possible, then any funds left over shall be
donated to an organisation with similar aims following approval by two thirds of
full members present and voting at the meeting.

13 Adoption of The Guild’s Charter
13.1 This Charter was adopted by the founding members of The Guild at an

Inaugural meeting of The Guild held on 22 June 2016.