The Support Paradox in Community Enterprise Experiments in the Netherlands

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    In many European countries, community-based entrepreneurship is increasingly considered as a means to initiate small-scale urban regeneration. However, residents in deprived neighbourhoods are often viewed to lack key entrepreneurial skills. Most research on community entrepreneurship support is based on cross-sectional studies and overly focused on government support. This paper extends current knowledge by reporting a unique national experiment in the Netherlands with community enterprises receiving support from a private foundation. The paper aims to investigate how active citizens perceive the benefits and drawbacks of this support. Using a unique longitudinal approach, the paper analyses transcriptions of repeated semi-structured interviews (panel design) from community enterprises in several neighbourhoods. While positive feedback is found, the study provides strong evidence for a support paradox: the support that was intended to overcome a number of entry barriers and difficulties on the road to community entrepreneurship has significantly hampered progress among several community enterprises.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)570-589
    JournalInternational Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2017


    • community entrepreneurship
    • community enterprise
    • social enterprise
    • austerity
    • active citizenship
    • urban regeneration
    • self-organisation
    • neighbourhoods
    • support
    • The Netherlands

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