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Conceptualizing virtual communities as enablers of community-based entrepreneurship and resilience

K. Sankaran (Department of Management, Justice K.S. Hegde Institute of Management, Nitte, India)
Catherine Demangeot (IESEG School of Management, Paris – La Défense Cedex, France)

Journal of Enterprising Communities: People and Places in the Global Economy

ISSN: 1750-6204

Article publication date: 13 March 2017




This paper aims to demonstrate the potential of virtual communities in enabling community-based entrepreneurship and resilience. Resilience is an important attribute for a community to overcome adverse circumstances it may face.


Weaving together diverse strands of scholarship, the authors show how virtual communities centered around specific interests (Obst et al., 2002) can endow geographic communities with resilience.


The paper establishes the desirability of resilience in contemporary communities, which can be enhanced through internet-mediated entrepreneurship. Five specific phenomena are identified as facilitating the emergence of community-based entrepreneurship through membership in virtual communities. Community-based entrepreneurship can augment or even replace institutional support that has until recently been considered by policy makers as the only means of addressing resilience issues, especially in disadvantaged communities.

Research limitations/implications

This paper is conceptual in nature; the conceptualization provides a rich opportunity to empirically validate the argumentation advanced here.

Social implications

This research points to major policy implications, as internet-enabled, community-based entrepreneurship may be an important key to overcome many of the adverse circumstances faced by communities the world over, such as climate change, terrorism and paucity of funds for social action.


The paper contributes to the literature on community-based entrepreneurship by developing the notion of internet-enabled community resilience, showing how internet-enabled communities can prompt entrepreneurial behavior and result in the enhanced resilience of geographic communities.



Sankaran, K. and Demangeot, C. (2017), "Conceptualizing virtual communities as enablers of community-based entrepreneurship and resilience", Journal of Enterprising Communities: People and Places in the Global Economy, Vol. 11 No. 1, pp. 78-94.



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