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Community based enterprises and RCDEs: Enhancing Institutional Capacity and Local Development in India

Torri, MC

January 2008

Numerous projects have been implemented with the aim of promoting the development of local enterprises as a mean to improve the conditions of rural communities. Their failure points to the difficulty of adapting the concept of 'entrepreneurship' to different cultural settings and to the diversity of community needs. Whereas the community is typically treated in the literature as an exogenous part of the environment for entrepreneurship, an emerging point of view is to treat the entrepreneur and the enterprise as embedded in a network of relationships, usually local. The purpose of this paper is explore whether the community-based enterprise as an alternative representation of how entrepreneurial activity may be an instrument to enhance local livelihoods. We generate the concept of reflexive community development enterprise, as an indicator of an organisation having the strategy of sustainable alleviation of poverty with a holistic approach and capacity to integrate different aspects of the community (economic, social, and cultural). In order to explore these concepts, we discuss the case of Gram Mooligai Company Limited (GMCL), which is active in the herbal sector in rural India.

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