Exploring enabling resources for place-based social entrepreneurship: a participatory study of Green Care practices in Finland

Angela Moriggi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


Enabling resources are the array of tangible and intangible assets that social entrepreneurs mobilize or create to bring forward novel place-based initiatives, to respond to unmet sustainability challenges and ideally contribute to virtuous processes of socio-economic transformation. Understanding the role of resources in constraining or enabling the development of social enterprises holds important implications not merely for the initiatives, but also for the places where they are embedded. Existing studies fail to provide a comprehensive, empirically grounded account of resources for place-based social entrepreneurship. This paper aims to fill this gap, by exploring the array of resources that enable and constrain the development of Green Care practice, i.e., nature-based activities with a social innovation purpose. Three communities of Finnish practitioners—a nature-tourism company, a care farm, and a biodynamic farm—were involved over the span of 3 years in research activities conducted with an in-depth qualitative approach. Participants were engaged in several stages of iterative learning combining conventional and action-research methods: semi-structured interviews, participatory mapping, and a co-creation workshop. Results show that entrepreneurs resort to a great variety of enabling resources, inclusive of both tangible and intangible assets, that are only marginally considered by relevant literature. Based on these findings, the paper proposes a novel set of enabling resources, comprehensive of nine clusters: infrastructural, institutional, material, place-specific, organizational culture-related, social, ethical, affective, and competence-related. Two concluding insights can be inferred: understanding resources is paramount to grasp possibilities and challenges of place-based entrepreneurship; in-depth participatory processes are needed for a thorough and grounded investigation of enabling resources in places.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)437-453
Number of pages17
JournalSustainability Science
Early online date22 Oct 2019
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2020


  • Enabling resources
  • Finland
  • Green Care practices
  • Place
  • Social entrepreneurship


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    Project: EU research project

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