The significance of grassroots and inclusive innovation in harnessing social entrepreneurship and urban regeneration
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© 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited. Purpose: The purpose of this study is to examine the dimensions of inclusive and grassroots innovations operationalised by a social enterprise and the impact of these activities on urban regeneration. To this end, the case of Homebaked in Liverpool, UK, is presented and discussed. Design/methodology/approach: Face-to-face interviews with members of Homebaked’s management, staff and volunteers were conducted; the interviews were complemented with on-site observations and review of archival information of the social enterprise. Findings: The data gathered revealed the organisation’s involvement in both types of innovation as a means to achieve long-term urban regeneration related goals. For instance, innovative, strategic and human dimensions, together with the human dimension emerged as key ways of innovating. The impacts of innovative practices comprised encouraging inclusiveness among residents and non-residents, with approaches including hands-on training workshops, job and volunteering opportunities being predominant. Originality/value: First, the study advances the theoretical and applied understanding of grassroots and inclusive innovation in the context of a social enterprise. For instance, an innovative/strategic and human dimension emerged as predominant ways in which grassroots and inclusive innovation elements were manifested. These dimensions were based on technology uptake, implementation of new product/service concepts or harnessing the skills of local and non-local individuals. Similarly, four dimensions associated with the impacts of these types of innovation were revealed. Second, the study addresses acknowledged gaps in the literature, particularly regarding the limited contributions illuminating processes and determinants of innovation among social enterprises.
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