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The support paradox in community enterprise experiments in the Netherlands
by Reinout Kleinhans; Maarten Van Ham
International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business (IJESB), Vol. 31, No. 4, 2017
Abstract: 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 focussed 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.
Online publication date: Fri, 21-Jul-2017
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