How can social enterprise address disadvantage? Evidence from an inner city community

Simon Teasdale

This article examines the potential impact of social enterprise on disadvantage. The case study research involved participant observation over a 2-year period. Selection of cases was based on a preliminary typology for social enterprise and disadvantage was conceptualized using the European concept of social exclusion. This sees exclusion as multidimensional and relative to the standards of the society in which a person lives. The existing research literature suggests that the aggregate economic impact of social enterprise upon exclusion is marginal. This is a consequence of a mismatch between policy expectations and what is happening in the field. This study found that different forms of social enterprise impacted on exclusion in different ways. This article outlines these different impacts in order to open up a more balanced perspective on the potential and limitation of social enterprise in combating disadvantage.
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