Can Social Enterprises Lead the Way for regeneration and poverty reduction?
This short paper is a summary of a presentation made by the two authors at a conference organised by the Scottish Trades Union Congress in September 2008 around the themes of Regeneration and Poverty Reduction. The paper focuses on issues facing Scotland as a whole, but Glasgow in particular, and was written in response to the publication of Taking Forward the Government Economic Strategy and City Strategy Action Plan by Glasgow City Council in 2008. The authors are particularly concerned that there is little mention of the issues of poverty reduction and regeneration within these documents. Furthermore, within this limited agenda social enterprises are seen as a way forward to tackle these issues but we argue that there are particular concerns regarding their use in pursuing these objectives. The paper is therefore organised on the following lines: firstly the issue and extent of poverty within Glasgow are explored with an analysis of how the City Council, as outlined in the two documents, seeks to tackle these problems. This critical examination is undertaken within an outline of previous policy initiatives. We then proceed to examine potential alternatives to the implicit strategies within the two documents, with an emphasis on social capital and social enterprises. However, whilst social enterprises are becoming one of the preferred vehicles for delivering regeneration objectives we argue there needs to be a full understanding of these organisations and potential problems surrounding their deployment.
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