What are Community Based Enterprises ? Enterprise Development and Community Economic Development Steps for Building a Community Enterprise

Enterprise Development and Community Economic Development

Business growth is seen to be one of the main ways of promoting economic development. But there are many different forms of business and not all put community wellbeing at the centre of their operations. While privately owned businesses might employ local people, the wealth they produce is accumulated and invested or expended by the business owners often elsewhere.

The only way to ensure that the wealth generated locally is used to improve livelihoods locally is for the community to take charge of enterprise ownership and development.

Community based social enterprises are distinctive in that they organize their business activities around providing community benefit directly. They can:

  • provide purposeful employment and cash income for marginalized people
  • add value to agricultural produce
  • stop the leaks of cash out of the community by supplying products for local consumption
  • allocate surpluses to community projects 
  • use surpluses to spin off more community enterprises
  • allow people to develop as economic decision-makers and actively engaged citizens

Because community enterprises involve stakeholders from all over the community, they are more able to devise strategies to cope with competition and capitalization. They can be developed as part of a local development plan by local governments and NGOs as well as community members. For those interested in learning more see the DVD Building Social Enterprises in the Philippines: Strategies for Local Development viewable from the Community Economies website.



DVD launch

Jagna Community Partnering participants at DVD launch