Understanding difference: the importance of ‘place’ in the shaping of local social economies

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By contrasting and confronting the experiences of social enterprises in two Northern English city regions, and exploring the meaning and implications of difference between two broadly similar locations, this paper argues that what social enterprises can achieve depends as much on the context from which they emerge and operate as on the individuals involved. The findings from the research underpinning this paper reveal that each locality nurtures different relational assets, depending on the nature of the institutions and the community and its culture. These relational assets in turn provide diverse incentives and opportunities for the social economy to develop and grow.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2763-2784
Number of pages22
Issue number6
Early online date26 Oct 2016
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2017


  • social economies
  • social enterprises
  • communities
  • sub-regional comparison
  • historical and cultural legacies


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