Research calls for rural and island communities to be seen in a new light following Covid.

Research led by CoDeL and funded as part of the Northern Periphery and Artic Programme has found that while the health and economic disruptions caused by Covid-19 are undeniable, on balance many rural and island areas have performed relatively well during the pandemic by drawing on a wide range of resilience factors both for health Read more…

Community Based Social Enterprises fostering Inclusive Development in peripheral European Rural Areas.

Community Based Social Enterprises fostering Inclusive Development in peripheral European Rural Areas. Lucas Olmedo, Mara van Twuijver, Mary O’Shaughnessy.   This paper investigates how community-based social enterprises (CBSEs) foster inclusive development in European peripheral rural areas and in turn contribute to the sustainable development goals. CBSEs are seen as a subset of social enterprise that Read more…

RurAction. Handbook for Practitioners

  The RurAction Network: Handbook for Practitioners.   The stated aim of this publication is to: ‘to help practitioners – both on the basis of our own empirical research and a literature review – to reflect with greater awareness on rural conditions with their specific challenges; potentials; dynamics; organisational forms and the hybridity of social Read more…

LEADER and Spatial Justice

LEADER and Spatial Justice. Mark Shucksmith, Elizabeth Brooks and Ali Madanipour Sociologia Ruralis: Journal of the European Society for Rural Sociology 2021.   This paper explores ideas of ‘spatial justice’ and how they can be applied via placed – based approaches in a rural context. It identifies four key dimensions to spatial justice – plurality Read more…

Think Big, Act Small: Elinor Ostrom’s radical vision for community power

The report provides an accessible introduction to Nobel prize for Economics winner Elinor Ostrom’s work and the radical vision it offers for our current challenges. Described as the ‘intellectual hero of the community power movement’ it explores her decades long academic and practical research and how her ideas can be applied in the UK. The Read more…

Social enterprise, social innovation and self-directed care: lessons from Scotland

This study based on guided conversations with 19 stakeholders explored the experiences of social enterprises that deliver social care in Scotland within the Self Directed Support (SDS) framework. It found mixed evidence of transformation in the Scottish social care market and significant differences between urban and rural settings. It highlights misconceptions of social enterprise as Read more…

Social enterprises’ impact on older people’s health and well-being

Exploring Scottish experiences: Part of the Common Health research programme, this paper explores ‘what’ impact social enterprise activities had on the health and well-being of participants over 50 and ‘how’ this impact was created. The research covers the work of three social enterprises in Scotland, one in rural south west Scotland. Beneficial impacts were identified Read more…

Filling a void? The role of social enterprise in addressing social isolation and loneliness in rural communities.

This study of seven social enterprises in the Highlands and Islands looks at the ways in which they address social isolation and loneliness. It supports suggestions that in remote and rural areas social enterprises can be generators of health and wellbeing but also highlights the impact of managing and delivering services on small local populations. Read more…

Unlocking the potential of rural Social Enterprise

This paper reports on an exploratory study with social enterprise stakeholders in Dumfries and Galloway and Scottish Borders focused on the potential of social enterprise to contribute to rural development. It considers three key domains that impact on this potential – the rural, the social enterprise and the policy. It argues that ‘social enterprises can Read more…

Social entrepreneurship in a rural context: an over-ideological state?

This study from 2008 considers the factors that influence how social entrepreneurs operate in rural areas, the difficulties they face and how they might be addressed. Based on interviews with 30 social enterprise stakeholders in the Highlands and Island it argues that rural settings present some distinct challenges as well as advantages. While issues of Read more…

Can social enterprise contribute to creating sustainable rural communities?

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 Read more…

Starting social enterprises in remote and rural Scotland: best or worst of circumstances?

This study extends the analysis of specific promotors/ barriers to the success of social enterprise in the Scottish Highlands to consider issues relating to health and social care. It finds thinking not well developed and issues in relation to procurement. While those interviewed could see a role for rural social enterprise in maintaining the wellbeing Read more…

Built-in Resilience: Community Landowners’ Responses to the Covid-19 Crisis

In June 2020, Community Land Scotland and the Community Woodlands Association co-published a new report entitled “Built-in Resilience: Community Landowners’ Responses to the Covid-19 Crisis.” The report demonstrates the remarkable efforts made by community landowners’ to support their communities throughout the lockdown period, highlighting the ability of community landowners and organisations to be agile and Read more…

Wellbeing Economy

Want to know more about a #wellbeingeconomy?   A new paper from the Wellbeing Economy Alliance (WEAll) explains what a wellbeing economy is, discussing the benefits, the fundamentals and building blocks, how it iffers from the current system, and how it would work in a variety of styles. This ten-page PDF makes wellbeing economy concepts Read more…

Resilience Economics Report from Common Weal

The recent report from Common Weal Scotland, ‘Resilience Economics’, sets out an economic framework for rebuilding Scotland’s economy post-virus. This new document explains the principles behind Resilience Economics – the act of building an economy designed to withstand and react to shocks such as financial crashes, global pandemics, and climate change.   Download the report Read more…

Exploring the Geographies of Social Enterprise in the Highlands and Islands

Research conducted by Ailsa Higgins, a student at the University of Glasgow, explores the geographies of social enterprise in the Highlands and Islands region of Scotland. Social enterprise activity is known to be particularly dense in the Highlands and Islands, where growth conditions have been described as “fertile context” for the uptake of social enterprise Read more…

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