Social Entrepreneurship and Effectiveness in Poverty Alleviation: A Case Study of a Canadian First Nations Community

Social entrepreneurship increasingly is being viewed as a way of combating poverty and marginalization, with the pursuit of an entrepreneurial strategy being conceptually linked to effectiveness. Yet, in the absence of research investigating those relationships, particularly at the community level of analysis, there is little empirical evidence to substantiate this claim. The research reported here adopts a case study approach in studying the effectiveness of a Canadian First Nations community whose purposive action to improve its well being is considered a strategic case of social entrepreneurship. While the change agents (who are members of the community) exercised considerable entrepreneurship, their endeavors did not positively impact the broader community’s entrepreneurial capacity. In fact, the results suggest that the process has cultivated considerable dependency. A number of contributing factors are identified and discussed as are the implications.

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