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Local enterprise facilitation

Sirolli, Ernesto (2004) Local enterprise facilitation. PhD thesis, Murdoch University.

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In a rapidly globalizing economy, many communities are stranded in unemployment or work without meaning. This thesis asks the question: can local communities create economic development with fulfilling work? The experience of the author in African development projects is used to pose questions about modernist approaches to development. The alternative approaches to work and human development by Fritz Schumacher, Abraham Maslow and Carl Rogers are melded with the political insight of Robert Putnam, to suggest that the answer to the above question can be positive. Their theories are distilled into an approach called Local Enterprise Facilitation, which is based on four principles:
1. Only work with individuals or communities that invite you.
2. Do not motivate individuals to do anything they do not wish to do.
3. Trust that they are naturally drawn towards self-improvement.
4. Have faith in community and the higher social needs that bond it together.

The author's experience of twenty years in applying and developing this approach is traced from its origins in rural Western Australia, through other parts of Australia and New Zealand to its extensive application in North America. The experience has created a methodology for successful Local Enterprise Facilitation based around a community Board that can provide the necessary support for networks for new enterprises. In particular the methodology uses a 'Trinity of Management' approach whereby the separate skills of production/enterprise, financial accounting and marketing are facilitated as no individual can do more than one of these skills successfully.

The Local Enterprise Facilitation philosophy has many implications and some of these are suggested in terms of planning, education, bureaucracy, and conservation. Whilst an evaluation of the businesses created can only be done in the long term, Local Enterprise Facilitation has opened up some hope for communities seeking to create good work.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Institute for Sustainability and Technology Policy
Supervisor(s): Newman, Peter
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