Authors – E19 – Sue Kilpatrick – Social enterprises and regional cities: working together for mutual benefit
Social enterprises respond to local needs through an integrated economic and social model. It is known that social enterprises facilitate outcomes for their participants; less is known about how social enterprises contribute to outcomes for others in their locale. Activity within social enterprises was observed and interviews conducted with participants, staff, customers and leaders in Australian regional cities. Data were analysed using a conceptual framework informed by social capital and social enterprise literature that uncovered actions involving social enterprises that realise place-based outcomes, motivations for these actions, and social capital networks that facilitate them. Linking networks among high level actors in regional cities supported development of bridging networks between social enterprises and other organisations. These were activated by social enterprises or others to generate opportunities for social enterprise participants. Local organisation motivations for interacting with social enterprises complemented social enterprises’ dual social and economic mission. Local production and ‘consumption’ of products realised benefits including wellbeing and social inclusion. Findings extend knowledge by showing that social enterprises’ dual social and economic missions place them in multiple networks with overlapping membership. Network overlap generates a space for work on place-based social and economic problems and opportunities that benefit social enterprises and cities.
Full article available on Taylor & Francis website: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/08985626.2021.1899293