Green community entrepreneurship: creative destruction in the social economy
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine the process of green community entrepreneurship in the social economy by studying creative responses among environmental non-profit organizations to an external fiscal shock. Design/methodology/approach – A total of 12 managers of environmental non-profit organizations were interviewed to identify and classify their responses to a single external fiscal shock. These organizations are connected by a social capital network, their national association, Green Communities Canada. The social economy and ecological economics literatures are reviewed to construct a definition of green community entrepreneurship. Interview respondents identified factors which facilitate this process. Findings – The need for green community entrepreneurship was driven by two interrelated issues (a loss of external government funding, and an associated market collapse for residential energy audits), and facilitated by three main factors (external social capital network flows, internal human capital stocks, and strategic partnerships). Research limitations/implications – Future research should examine other social economy organizations to determine if the dynamics discovered here are unique to green community organizations delivering climate change programs or apply more generally. Policy implications include the potential for joint project creation and investment utilizing green community entrepreneurship to integrate social and ecological economy objectives. Originality/value – A new conceptual framework for green community entrepreneurship is developed.
Canada, Entrepreneurialism, Environmental management, Non-profit organizations, Social capital, Sustainable development
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