Community Co-Production

Community Co-Production

Social Enterprise in Remote and Rural Communities

Edited by Jane Farmer, Carol Hill and Sarah-Anne Muñoz

This book addresses a clutch of contemporary societal challenges including: aging demography and the consequent need for extended care in communities; public service provision in an era of retrenching welfare and global financial crises; service provision to rural communities that are increasingly ‘hollowed out’ through lack of working age people; and, how best to engender the development of community social enterprise organizations capable of providing high quality, accessible services. It is packed with information and evidence garnered from research into the environment for developing community social enterprise and co-producing services; how communities react to being asked to co-produce; what to expect in terms of the social enterprises they can produce; and, how to make them happen.

Chapter 6: Sustaining Social Organisations in Rural Areas

Sandy Whitelaw

Subjects: business and management, entrepreneurship, development studies, development economics, social entrepreneurship, economics and finance, development economics, social policy and sociology, comparative social policy, social policy in emerging countries, urban and regional studies, regional studies, urban studies


Sandy Whitelaw INTRODUCTION The favouring of a broad social enterprise-based model for creating and delivering services and initiatives is to some extent based on an assumption that such a model has the potential to achieve temporal, social and economic sustainability in a context where this is often perceived to be difficult (Buchanan, 2010). A contention can be made that within both broad welfare provision, and specifically the nurturing of social enterprises, the concept of sustainability and the related notions of ‘capacity’ and ‘implementation’ have tended not to be given the prominence they are perhaps due (Potter & Brough, 2004; Phillips, 2006). By explicitly attending to these foundational matters in the context of social enterprises, this chapter seeks to redress such a deficit. In the context of the particular challenges of delivering services to older people in rural areas on a realistic and on-going basis that informed the O4O: Older People for Older People (O4O) project these concerns are clearly crucial, and this recognition informed the O4O approach of exploring the possibility of older people providing support for other older people as a profitable way forward. In practical terms the vast majority of O4O projects have, to varying levels, been concerned explicitly with mechanisms that might contribute to achieving a level sustainability. By drawing upon perspectives from both general and social enterprise-specific sustainability literature, this chapter primarily seeks to develop a discussion of the broad nature and prerequisites of sustainability for rural community social enterprise. Thereafter, these resources are deployed to specific...

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