Purpose – This paper aims to focus on the role of the community entrepreneur and the process of community entrepreneurship. It seeks to emphasize the social context as critical for gaining access to the resources needed by a community venture and elaborates on the action pattern of the community entrepreneur towards raising critical resources from the environment. Design/methodology/approach – The analysis is based on a longitudinal field study of community entrepreneurs in four Norwegian rural municipalities. The data consists of interviews, observations, and documents. Findings – Community entrepreneurs create local arenas and thereby facilitate cooperative entrepreneurial action, through bridging social capital. The actors are part of these community contexts and are involved in a range of reciprocal relations. Thus, the actors' creative practices toward the community have to run parallel with the resource configuration process. Research limitations/implications – Future studies may provide a broader empirical platform in different communities, and take part in the process for a longer time period. One may also develop comparative studies focusing on the basic resource platform, the action pattern, and the performance of the different social ventures. Practical implications – A major finding is that government support should be flexible and develop tools “tailored” to the characteristics of the rural communities. The combined resources of the entrepreneurs, social networks, and more formal institutions create more ambitious results. Originality/value – The paper contributes to the field of entrepreneurship by studying community entrepreneurs and their entrepreneurial ventures. Further, an integration of a resource configuration approach and a practice‐oriented approach gives an increased understanding to the community venture creation process.
Journal of Enterprising Communities: People and Places in the Global Economy – Emerald Publishing
Published: May 30, 2008
Keywords: Entrepreneurship; Social capital; Resource allocation; Communities; Norway
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