Impresa di comunità si nasce o si diventa? Analisi di un caso-studio esemplare

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In this paper, through the Community-Based Enterprise (CBE) theory lens and referring to a single case study of an Italian SME located in a depressed rural area, we aim to investigate the concept of community enterprise in action. Following the original concept developed by Peredo and Chrisman (2006), our analysis points out an entrepreneurial posture characterized by the integration of social and economic objectives and by the ability to leverage on local resources in order to attain multifaceted benefits for a local community. It also shows some differences from the original concept. CBE theory is in fact based mainly on experiences related to communities beset by chronic privation, namely the so-called global South. Our case study offers instead evidence of the role of this kind of enterprise in the context of a developed economy facing some stresses. It also highlights that in these contexts, being a CBE may be the outcome of a process of transformation characterized by the progressive awareness of the role played for the community and the territory of reference, and that institutional legitimacy is an essential pre-requisite in order to foster long-lasting and self-reinforcing development path.