The paper addresses the issue of a local eco-system for social enterprise. It presents a model containing a number of dimensions in a local eco-system for social enterprise. There is a special focus on the governance network and the formation of partnerships as important factors. The paper is based on a case-study of a Danish municipality.
In the recent years the Danish Liberal/Conservative Government has decreased the support mechanisms for social enterprise, but at the same time we have seen that a number of municipalities have increased the local support systems for promoting SE. The paper is based on a research project with focus on the local eco-systems and it offers a supplement to the focus on national eco-systems that seems to have been dominant in practice and research (EU Commission, 2015).
The paper will have a specific focus on the governance processes in network and partnerships as important factors in the development of a local eco-system for social enterprise. Among others, Pestoff (2016) and Pestoff & Hulgård (2015) call out for further research in the governance dimensions of social enterprise.
This paper presents some of the results of a case study of the local eco-system of social enterprise in a Danish medium size municipality Silkeborg (90.000 inhabitants). The case is interesting, because the town council of Silkeborg in 2015 adopted a strategy for social enterprises where the goal is the formation of 20 new social enterprises and 150 new jobs for marginalized people by 2020.
The research project follows the implementation of the strategy, and the focus of the present paper is how network and partnerships constitutes crucial elements in the local eco-system of social enterprise. The paper contributes to the understanding of the governance dimension of the local eco-system for social enterprises.
The main question addressed in the paper is the following: How do the actors, both municipality officials and representatives from social enterprises, understand and practice network and partnerships in the local development of the SE sector?
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