Introduction to Community Economic Development What it is and the case for it Community Economic Development a.k.a. Community-based development An approach emphasizing local self-sufficiency, local decision-making, and local ownership. A strategic response that might assist communities to take up development opportunities and challenges. (Loxley, 2000) A holistic approach It links economic development with a wider social and economic process. small scale economic activities provision of local needs and demand a microeconomic approach No universally accepted definition of CED United Nations 1955 • A process designed to create conditions of economic and social progress for the whole community with its active participation and the fullest reliance upon the community’s initiative. Conference Board of Canada 1994 • A strategy by which local development organizations mobilize local resources for a multi-faceted development campaign. CED in the economic context • polar opposite of capitalist forms of development • capitalist development typically brings the “development” to a community from the outside • CED promotes development from the “inside” CED in the economic context • people in a community are to be the authors, architects and builders of their development CED in the economic context • The people of a community may need assistance and supports in building their community’s future. What is a community? What is the case for CED? The concept of the “Social Economy” is relevant to CED What is the social economy? The social economy is a grass-roots entrepreneurial, not-for-profit sector, based on democratic values that seeks to enhance the social, economic, and environmental conditions of communities, often with a focus on their disadvantaged members. (Human Resources and Social Development Canada) Why is the federal government interested in social economy enterprises? Governments are increasingly turning to community-based processes and initiatives to address local problems with local solutions. What are social economy enterprises? • Social economy enterprises are run like businesses • Produce goods and services for the market economy • Manage their operations and redirect their surpluses in the pursuit of social and community goals • Often grow out of broad-based community development strategies What benefits do the social economy bring to communities? It contributes to a range of community goals and has the potential to create collective wealth through the production of goods and services. Social economy enterprises provide a flexible and sustainable tool that can help communities to achieve their own objectives, such as: – stimulating job creation and skills development; – enhancing community capacity for social supports; – supporting economic growth and neighbourhood revitalization; – protecting the environment; – mobilizing disadvantaged groups. Is the social economy important in other parts of the world? Several of OECD countries have developed strategies to promote social enterprises. – The European Union includes the social economy in its entrepreneurship pillar. – The UK launched a strategy with the Department of Trade and Industry to support the growth of the social economy (2002).
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