A Comparison of Rural Social Enterprises in Britain and the Czech Republic

Faculty of Social Studies, Masaryk University, Brno

Nadia Johanisova, April 2007

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Summary :

This dissertation is focused on the phenomenon of rural social enterprise in Britain and the Czech Republic, its possible environmental dimension and its wider historical, social, and economic context and implications. It is based on a field study in both countries in 2002-2003 involving 71 social enterprises (46 in Britain and 25 in the Czech Republic). The motivations of the respondents, the structure and governance of the organisations, their survival strategies and problems identified by respondents are presented. The theoretical background includes sections on the “rural”, on social enterprise as a possible factor in economic power diffusion, on historical and current thinking about alternative economic approaches and on social enterprise definitions with an excursion into Czechoslovakian rural co-operative history. In the discussion, I look at the differences and similarities encountered in both countries and try to put the survival strategies encountered into a broader perspective. Annotations and contact details of all the projects interviewed are in the Appendix.

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