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Chapter 22 Community Development Chapter Objectives 1. To explain the key principles of Community development 2.

To evaluate the main reasons for community development 3. To illustrate how local communities benefit from community development 4. To analyse the work of Community development organisations in Ireland The following community work principles are key: 1. Collective action Community work is based on working with and supporting groups of people. It enables them to develop knowledge, skills and confidence so that they identify priority needs and issues and address these through collective action. 2. Empowerment Community work is about the empowerment of individuals and communities, and addressing the unequal distribution of power. It is about working with people to enable them to become critical, creative and active in the development of their community. 3. Social Justice Community work is based on a belief that every person and every community can play an active role in creating conditions for a just and equal society where human rights are promoted and all forms of oppression and discrimination are challenged. 4. Participation Participation is about the involvement of groups who experience social exclusion, marginalisation and discrimination in decision making, planning and action at all levels, from the local to the global. Participation can be viewed as a continuum of activity that can start from information sharing through capacity building and empowerment to active engagement and meaningful participation in democratic processes. Reasons for Local Community Development 1. Indigenous Firms Firms that are set up, owned and run by Irish people will have a sense of loyalty to the area. This will reduce the dependence on foreign companies. 2. Spin off Business These local firms that set up will purchase goods and services from other companies. This is called Spin-Off business. 3. Unemployment Community development helps new businesses to set up in an area. This creates jobs. As businesses set up in local communities, an enterprise culture is created in the area, which means that a feeling of entrepreneurship and self-confidence develops. 4. Infrastructure As businesses thrive and do well in an area, the government needs to improve the infrastructure to keep firms operating efficiently (to ensure their goods can reach their markets). Improving the infrastructure and successful businesses in an area attracts more businesses. What does infrastructure mean? Infrastructure refers to the roads, railways, ports, broadband facilities, communication network, power supplies, sewages systems, etc in a country. How the Local Community Benefits from Local Business 1. Direct and Indirect Employment Direct and indirect employment is created. Locals will be employed directly in the business and others will be employed in spin-off business that will be created and in other new companies that might set up. 2. Wealth Creation and Standard of Living

Businesses will generate money. People work for local firms and they earn an income. Money earned in a community will be spent in a community, this creates income for others. As a result, peoples standard of living will improve. 3. Taxes The government receives taxes from new businesses and from the incomes of people who work for these businesses. The government has to pay out less on social welfare because fewer people in the area are unemployed. The government has more money to spend. 4. Infrastructure The infrastructure will improve in a community since new businesses need it. Roads, broadband internet connections, public services, etc will get more funding from the government. A good infrastructure and successful businesses attracts more companies to an area. 5. Enterprise Culture An enterprise culture will be created in the area. People in the community see their friends and neighbours successfully set up businesses and this encourages them to set up a business themselves. Examples of Community Development Organisations 1. County Enterprise Boards 2. FAS 3. Area Partnership Companies 1) County Enterprise Boards County Enterprise Boards (CEBs) are local government agencies that help entrepreneurs start up small businesses and create employment in their own county. eg.: Wexford County Enterprise Board, Donegal County Enterprise Board, Limerick City Enterprise Board, etc. The aim is to help small businesses, generally with less than ten employees, to set up and survive. They have access to a county enterprise fund from the government, which is used to help entrepreneurs set up small businesses. Projects must be commercially and economically viable i.e. be able to stand on their own feet within two years a) Training and Workshops Training in all aspects of the business is provided. They run workshops to train local people in the skills needed to run a community business successfully. These skills include I.T skills, sales skills, etc. b) Grants They give grants to entrepreneurs to set up, develop and grow. These fund feasibility studies to see if the community businesses find out if its idea is likely to be successful. They give employment grants to help with the costs of workers. They give capital grants to help purchases machinery and equipment. c) Mentor Each CEB provides mentors. These are experienced business people who will guide and give advice to the new firms during their early stages. If the business runs into problems, it can contact its mentor wholl give them advice to solve the problem. d) Advice The CEB will provide advice and information to local people on how to go about setting up the business (businesses registration, patenting, company law requirements, etc). They give advice on market research, finance and management. They give local people access to information on the internet and business newspapers and magazines, etc.


FAS Schemes (Now SOLAS) FAS is the state training and employment agency. It runs a number of schemes to advise and train workers and to help unemployed people to get work. The scheme that is focuses on Community Development is the Community Enterprise Scheme 1. This gives advice to people who are starting a business. 2. This scheme trains people in the local area. 3. It helps with the recruitment and selection of staff. 4. It gives grants for the preparation of business plans and feasibility studies All projects need to be seen to be able to survive and all projects must create jobs. Examples - Craft Enterprises and Heritage Projects 3) Area Partnership Companies (APC) They operate mainly in disadvantaged inner cities. Each APC tries to serve the specific needs of its own area. The aim is to create more jobs at local level, particularly for the long-term unemployed in disadvantaged areas. They help businesses set up in their area. Examples include Galway City Partnership, Dublin Inner City Partnership, Waterford Area Partnership, etc.

a) Grants They give community businesses grants to help pay for setting up the business. These grants are used to buy the machinery, computers, equipment, etc that the business needs. b) Workshops They organise workshops to train local people in all the skills needed to run a community business successfully (such as accounting, taxation and marketing skills) c) Advice They give on-going advice to help community businesses deal with the day-to-day problems of running a business. d) Premises They provide the community business with enterprise incubation units. Some offer sectretarial services such as taking messages. e) Mentor The APC assigns a mentor to work with the community business. The mentor is an experienced business person. It the business has any problems, it can contact the mentor who can give them practical advice based on experience to help them solve their problems. They can offer suggestions to help improve the overall running of the business.