Title: 'We are growing Belize': modernisation and organisational change in the Mennonite settlement of Spanish Lookout, Belize

Authors: Carel Roessingh; Kees Boersma

Addresses: Department of Culture, Organization and Management, Faculty of Social Sciences, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, De Boelelaan 1081, Room Z-240, 1081 HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands ' Department of Culture, Organization and Management, Faculty of Social Sciences, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, De Boelelaan 1081, Room Z-240, 1081 HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Abstract: This article addresses the entrepreneurial and organisational activities of a specific Mennonite group in Belize called the Kleine Gemeinde community of Spanish Lookout. Building upon Christian beliefs, agricultural skills and a strong working ethos, this group was able to build up a stable, local economic network. The authors suggest that their collective resistance against other social groups and their day-to-day strictness lead to processes of |selective modernity|. As we make clear in this chapter, the Kleine Gemeinde Mennonites identity contains elements of ethnicity and partial exclusion based upon religious motives. The relative successful economic progression of this group is a sign of both their working ethos inspired by their religious background, and their will to progress and expand.

Keywords: religious organisations; selective modernity; family networks; families; Mennonites; religious communities; Anabaptists; religion; Christianity; modernisation; organisational change; religious settlements; Spanish Lookout; Belize; British Honduras; Central America; Kleine Gemeinde; Christian beliefs; agricultural skills; work ethos; agriculture; farming; local networks; economic networks; collective resistance; social groups; strictness; ethnicity; partial exclusion; religious motives; economic progress; religious backgrounds; small and medium-sized enterprises; SMEs; entrepreneurs; entrepreneurship.

DOI: 10.1504/IJESB.2011.042718

International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, 2011 Vol.14 No.2, pp.171 - 189

Available online: 28 Sep 2011 *

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