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Exploring links between entrepreneurship, sustainability and resilience

Exploring links between entrepreneurship, sustainability and resilience

Resilience is an increasingly important concept in our understanding of how organisations and local communities perform and respond to exogenous shocks. Research in a number of contexts suggests the actions of entrepreneurs may result in more resilient organizations and economic systems that better withstand disruptions and recover quicker. However, there is limited knowledge of the specific mechanisms that drive this association, even though such knowledge would be valuable in helping organizations and regions to foster entrepreneurial activities that will better prepare them to deal with a variety of possible challenges.

Guest edited by Professors Rod McNaughton (University of Auckland) and Brendan Gray (University of Otago), this ebook of Journal of Enterprising Communities is one of the first to explicitly address the relationship between entrepreneurism and resilience at the community level. The ebook includes 10 papers that fall into two groups: the first set of five papers focus on resilience in different kinds of communities, including indigenous, gender related, virtual, and geographically remote; and the second set address recovery from natural disasters and the unique context of resilience within industry clusters.

In their introduction, the guest editors reflect on these papers and draw several conclusions that add clarity to the discourse on resilience. These include the ideas that:

Resilience reflects both a process and associated traits.

Resilient organizations reflect the resiliency and entrepreneurial orientations of key members who encourage them to adapt their business models, strategies, work routines, and organizational structures to new environmental conditions.

Resilient communities are rooted in cultural values, histories, and a sense of place; and incorporate key competencies such as the ability to self-organize, and to develop and utilize internal and external social networks to access important resources in times of adversity.

The process of entrepreneurial resilience reflects the ability to cope with short-term traumas and to counter long-term threats through adaptability, innovation, and the ability to identify and exploit new opportunities in the face of adversity.

While efforts at preservation tend to predominate when actors deal with threats to cultural or natural environments, efforts to improve preparedness for future events appear to be more common when actors attempt to counter threats to economic or personal well-being.

Opportunities for further research to advance understanding of the association between resilience and entrepreneurialism at different levels, and in different contexts, are identified.


An ecopreneur's growing resilience after a series of earthquakes,Community resilience through entrepreneurship: the role of gender,Community resilience to natural disasters: the role of disaster entrepreneurship,Conceptualizing virtual communities as enablers of community-based entrepreneurship and resilience,Entrepreneurship and resilient communities – introduction to the special issue,Indigenous entrepreneurship in Aotearoa New Zealand: the takarangi framework of resilience and innovation,Place-based business models for resilient local economies: cases from Italian Slow Food, agritourism and the albergo diffuso,Social enterprise, sustainability and community in post-earthquake Christchurch: exploring the role of local food systems in building resilience,The resilience strategies of SMEs in mature clusters,The role of social entrepreneurs in developing community resilience in remote areas,Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Exploring the relationship between entrepreneurship and resilience among the Boruca Indians of Costa Rica

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