Community Co-Production
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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.
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Chapter 4: Organisational Processes and the Policy–Practice Gap

Jane Farmer and Kate Stephen


Jane Farmer and Kate Stephen INTRODUCTION In this chapter we consider how community social enterprises form and factors that influence their development. We also reflect on the early stages of the process of enterprise development in the specific locale of the Scottish Highlands. As Muñoz and Steinerowski discuss in Chapter 3, there is a stereotype of the (social) entrepreneur as an individual ‘person of action’ and, as Hill argues in Chapter 1, government policy depicts a desire for ubiquitous community social enterprise as an alternative service and product provider; alternative, that is, to public sector or commercial sector provision. Policy analysis reveals a gap between the desire for community social enterprise and its ubiquitous spontaneous emergence. This may be because there are many challenges for community members in designing and driving the development of local social enterprise. Recently, government policy has acknowledged the need for community activists to catalyse, mentor and give confidence to communities (Conservative Party, 2010), and in this chapter we also reflect on the mediating role of an appointed community social enterprise leader; that is, one appointed by the public sector, a project or agency, with a remit to act as both a mentor and catalyst for change; indeed, what current policy jargon refers to as a ‘community activist’. In the O4O: Older People for Older People project (O4O), which is the underlying and ongoing case study that informs practical aspects of this book, these community activists were the O4O Project Managers. By looking through the...

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