Abstract

Tackling grand societal challenges demands sustainable business models and collective action. By combining both, community enterprises, i.e. businesses that are established, owned and controlled by the members of the local community, constitute effective self-development mechanisms that generate multiple benefits for local communities. Although the number of such enterprises is growing and the phenomenon has increasingly attracted scholarly interest, we lack a theoretical understanding of why and how opportunities for such ventures are successfully recognized, developed and exploited. As not communities as a holistic entity identify and develop opportunities, but individuals within the community do, we adopt an individual perspective and view the community as a reflection of its individual members. Our objective is to open the black box of the community and provide a theoretical explanation for different roles during the community entrepreneurship process.

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