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A resilient social economy? Insights from the community food sector in the UK

Sonnino, Roberta and Griggs-Trevarthan, Christopher 2013. A resilient social economy? Insights from the community food sector in the UK. Entrepreneurship and Regional Development 25 (3-4) , pp. 272-292. 10.1080/08985626.2012.710268

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At a time of global economic and environmental crisis, academic and policy debates are re-emphasizing the potential of the social economy in providing an alternative development model that reconnects communities with their resource-base and enhances their ‘resilience’. The goal of this paper is to explore this potential through a focus on the practices and values of those who are concretely involved in the social economy. Based on data collected on five community food enterprises in Oxfordshire, UK, the analysis focuses on the perceptions of social entrepreneurs in relation to the ‘alternativeness’ of the social economy, its potential for expansion and its resilience. The research highlights the capacity of social entrepreneurs to empower local communities through a process of collective mobilization of local resources. Theoretically, this study generates new insights into the nature and meanings of resilience as a process of creation of more self-reliant communities of people, places, tools, skills and knowledge. From a policy and practice perspective, the paper raises the need for regional development strategies that capture the gains of these isolated initiatives, particularly in relation to their innovative capacity to create a shared vision that fosters synergies between local ecological, social and economic resources.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Geography and Planning (GEOPL)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
Uncontrolled Keywords: social economy, community food sector, local food, resilience, local development
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
ISSN: 0898-5626
Last Modified: 07 Nov 2019 09:05

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