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Social entrepreneurship and community renewal

Maclean, Mairi and Harvey, Charles and Shaw, Eleanor and Gordon, Jillian (2012) Social entrepreneurship and community renewal. In: BAM Conference 2012, 2012-09-12.

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The economic crisis has accentuated the social and economic dislocation experienced by disadvantaged communities at a time of unprecedented political and public interest in philanthropy. This has concentrated attention on the contribution that philanthropists might make in addressing socio-economic challenges, and on the role that social innovation might play in regenerating communities. This paper adds to the literature on social innovation and social entrepreneurship which aims to integrate theory and empirical practice. By examining social innovation through the lens of a case study of the Community Foundation serving Tyne & Wear and Northumberland, the paper sheds light on how the sites and spaces of socially innovative philanthropic projects may have a bearing on their success. The paper highlights the importance of community engagement on the part of social innovators, and the power of self-organization in re-embedding communities. It suggests that storytelling by committed philanthropists may serve as a powerful proselytizing tool for recruiting new donors.