Social Enterprise in Remote and Rural Communities
Edited by Jane Farmer, Carol Hill and Sarah-Anne Muñoz
Chapter 6: Sustaining Social Organisations in Rural Areas
6. Sustaining social organisations in rural areas 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....
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