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Community enterprise

The term community enterprise was a broadly accepted description of a range of organizations which sought to tackle social issues by engaging in trade and which were owned and controlled by the community or the constituency they sought to benefit in the UK until the 2000s (Pearce, 2009).

There has been a shift in the UK from the idea of community enterprise as an entity for community action to an emphasis on social enterprise as a business model, viewed as not very different in its essentials from private business. Pearce (2009) finds this problematic, as “the language of the business school has usurped the language of activism and political engagement.” (p. 30) Pearces argument fits very well with Chos critique about social entrepreneurship, in which he claims that social entrepreneurship as a concept contributes to depoliticising social change (Cho 2006). Another problem with the term social enterprise, which was pointed out by Amin (2009) too, is that social enterprises can easily become and be seen as the tool of the state as they lobby for more of the procurement cake and are courted by all the major political parties as a means of delivering welfare and other services (Pearce 2009).

Community enterprises (after Pearce, 2009 and Cameron, 2009):

  • Is managed by a community, aims shared decision making
  • Originates in a social movement (civil activism), in which the community members:
    1. Identify an unfavorable situation they face
    2. Build up strategies to change this unfavorable situation
  • Use economic activities as means to help achieve their aim
  • Produce surplus for the enterprise, but not profit for individual gain
community_enterprise.txt · Last modified: 2016/01/26 10:24 by p236974