Embedded entrepreneurship in the creative re-construction of place
This paper focuses on ways in which entrepreneurs engage with place and community. Drawing on the ideas of embeddedness and transferring value across spheres, we develop insight about how the relationship between entrepreneurs and communities influences entrepreneurial practices and outcomes. Employing an ethnographic perspective including participant observation, we explored the situated practices of entrepreneurs in two depleted communities in the Northwest of Ireland. We found that entrepreneurs not only drew on the community in running their business, but were also involved in a wide range of “other” activities that engaged, involved and worked with the community. This entrepreneurship produced a range of projects that addressed social and economic issues (unemployment, employability and emigration) and the depleted sense of place which was adversely affecting these communities. We show how social bonds and an affinity to community enable entrepreneurship to create, renew and reify a positive identity of place by combining understanding with entrepreneurial purpose.
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