This study based on interviews with social enterprise stakeholders in the Highlands and Islands considers the extent to which social enterprise can address social and economic challenges in remote and rural areas.
Promotors of social enterprise include the market context, the culture of self-help, support from rural communities and the small size and thus flexibility of social enterprises. Barriers include geographical conditions, workforce issues, small market size and inadequate support. It suggests that rural social enterprises can contribute to sustainable rural communities but need a uniquely adaptive approach to working alongside structural features of their context. Also that ‘tailored rural social enterprise policies’ are needed to support this.
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Steinerowski, A. and Steinerowska-Streb, I. (2012) Can social enterprise contribute to creating sustainable rural communities? Using the lens of structuration theory to analyse the emergence of rural social enterprise. Local Economy, 27(2), 167-182. (doi.org/10.1177/0269094211429650)