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The role of social entrepreneurs in developing community resilience in remote areas

Caroline Morrison (Department of Business and Enterprise, University of Ulster, Coleraine, Northern Ireland)
Elaine Ramsey (Department of Business and Enterprise, University of Ulster, Coleraine, Northern Ireland)
Derek Bond (Independent Advisor, Ulster Business School, Portstewart, Northern Ireland)

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

ISSN: 1750-6204

Article publication date: 13 March 2017

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to understand the processes whereby social entrepreneurs can contribute to community resilience and sustainability.

Design/methodology/approach

The study used a qualitative case study approach with 15 island communities located off the north and west coasts of Scotland and who were engaged in the development and implementation of renewable energy initiatives.

Findings

Peripheral communities provide an environment where entrepreneurial activities can flourish. Through a model of social enterprise, they were able to develop the necessary mechanisms to increase socio-economic resilience. The study indicates the importance of social capital in this process.

Research limitations/implications

External networks provide part of the framework to overcome market imperfections caused by distance and remoteness so that social entrepreneurs can develop their ability to build resilience and sustainability. More research is needed on how this framework can be utilised.

Social implications

In spite of the challenges presented in remote areas, these communities have shown the ability to adapt. This is an important component of resilience building.

Originality/value

This paper makes a unique contribution to the knowledge base through the interconnected concepts of social entrepreneurship and social capital. It provides new empirical insights into social enterprises and describes the mechanisms that help to build resilient rural communities in the context of renewable energy endeavours.

Keywords

Citation

Morrison, C., Ramsey, E. and Bond, D. (2017), "The role of social entrepreneurs in developing community resilience in remote areas", Journal of Enterprising Communities: People and Places in the Global Economy, Vol. 11 No. 1, pp. 95-112. https://doi.org/10.1108/JEC-02-2015-0020

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited