News

“Developing a rural social enterprise education and research framework”

September 2, 2019

Name:                          Felicity Kelliher
Home Institute:      Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT)
Host Institute:         Memorial University of Newfoundland (MUN)

Visit Details:             26 May to 28 June 2019

Title of Research:

Developing a rural social enterprise education and research framework

INTRODUCTION
Ireland’s Southeast and Newfoundland are primarily rural, requiring a strategic approach to rural community engagement in pursuit of sustainable development. These communities have a shared history, with deep long-term connections between Waterford and St. Johns. The project builds on complimentary SE expertise at Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) and Memorial University Newfoundland (MUN), and our research centres; the Centre for Newfoundland and Labrador Studies (CNLS) and RIKON (www.rikon.ie) at WIT and the Centre for Social Enterprise (CSE) and the Leslie Harris Centre of Regional Policy and Development at MUN.

L to R: Nicole Helwick, Centre for Social Enterprise, MUN, Felicity Kelliher, Cathy Newhook, Harris Centre, MUN

MUN are launching an MBA in Social Enterprise and Entrepreneurship (SEE), the first educational intervention of its kind in Newfoundland, in September 2019. Its purpose is to enhance the potential for SEE activities in Newfound and Labrador to contribute to rural, regional development goals. The purpose of this research was to collaborate with MUN’s Business Faculty and CSE colleagues, in order to co-design and deliver an SEE-research informed seminar series in pursuit of optimised engagement with the SEE ethos by faculty and the wider stakeholder community. The overriding objective was to develop a rural social enterprise education and research framework, focused on capturing cross-country knowledge in pursuit of optimised higher education support structures.

FULFILMENT OF PROJECT OBJECTIVES (4-WEEK SCHOLARSHIP):
1) Developed a rural SE education and research framework (drafted co-authored academic paper).
2) Co-designed a seminar hosted by the Harris Centre and CSE, MUN
3) Delivered a tutorial (workshop) on leading and facilitating rural SE initiatives, engaging rural business owners in SE activities and management and SE capability development
4) Set out a collaborative trajectory between our two education and research communities

PRE-VISIT: Completed SKPE liaison with Nicole Hedwig, MUN CSE Chair to draft a schedule of meetings with MUN faculty involved in the MBA in SEE, rural community leaders, SEs, support agencies and government representatives.

VISIT: Scheduled meetings to discuss and finalise seminar series with MUN business faculty/ MBA SEE team, Research Centre teams (CSE and Leslie Harris Centre), community leader and social entrepreneur meetings (emphasis on social enterprise brokers), support agent and government representatives. Engage MUN/ WIT research and education project trajectory. Completed the following schedule of meetings and events;

Completed schedule of meetings:

Business Faculty
• Dr Isabelle Dostaler, Dean of Faculty
• Gordon Cooke
• Prof Kara Arnold, Leadership & OB
• Peggy Coady
• Travor Brown
• Angela Avery

Department of Gender Studies
• Prof Katherine Side

Department of Economics
• Prof Wade Lock, Head of Department

Centre for Social Enterprise
• Nicole Hedwig, Chair
• Prof Natalie Slawinski, MBA SEE Program Director
• Prof John Schouten, SE Chair, MUN
• Gillian Sheppard, SEE Educ. Support
• MBA SEE Development Team

Harris Centre
• Rob Greenwood, Associate VP (Public Engagement & External Relations Director)
• Cathy Newhook

Community Leaders and Rural Development Support Agencies
• Mark Dobbin, Dobbin Scholarship
• Kyran Dwyer, Benevolent Irish Soc.
• Mallary McGrath, Municipal Town Councillor, Branch, Newfoundland
• Jim Bradley, Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA)
• Craig Foley, Hospitality Newfoundland and Labrador (HNL)
• Stella’s Circle (SE)
• Dean Sunderland, Rural Music Program
• John Fisher, Fisher’s Loft, Port Rexton

International Office MUN
• Sonja Knutson
• Ashley Holloway (exchange coordinator)

Research/ Postgraduate Students
• Brennan Lowery, interdisciplinary PhD program, Grenfell Campus
• Jennifer Marlowe, 2019 Dobbin Graduate Scholar (attending WIT in September 2019)
• Samantha Hoddinott, RA summer graduate (repertoire for Harris Event)

Media
• Helen Murphy, Rural Sparks Canada
• Bojan Furst, Rural Routes Podcast

Schedule of SE Site Visits, Newfoundland:

• Island Rooms, Petty Harbour (http://www.islandrooms.org/)
• Hungry Heart, St. Johns (https://hungryheartcafe.ca/)
• Stella’s Circle, St. Johns (https://stellascircle.ca/)
• St. John’s Farmers Market (http://stjohnsfarmersmarket.ca/)
• Women in the fishery [‘fishing for success’ in Petty Harbour] ‘back to the future’, retraining in traditional arts … fish mongering/ cod tonguing.
• The Plantation, Quidi Vidi – New Frontiers Centre for Nascent entrepreneurs in Art/ Culture
• Brigus Forge – Community led business initiaitive
• First Light Centre for Performance and Creativity, St. John’s – 5 performing arts SEs in situ

St John’s mouth of the bay, Newfoundland

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS:

  • 5th June Observer participant in MBA SEE Development Team retreat day,
    held at Stella’s Circle (social enterprise).
  • 7th June Research student engagement session
  • 10th June Postgraduate student engagement session
  • 10th June MUN International Office
  • 20th June WIT/ MUN liaison meeting (by skype)

DELIVERABLES:
1) Co-delivered of seminar and master class focused on SE, rural enterprise, rural regional development through an Irish lens at the Harris Centre, MUN. Focused on leading and facilitating rural SE initiatives, engaging rural business owners in SE activities and management and SE capability development in rural business settings;

  • 26th June Synergy session ‘Social Innovation and Rural Development’, Harris Centre MUN
  • Synergy session – Kick-starting innovation in rural communities: stories from Ireland: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K3D7JlyT2-s

2) Co-delivered researcher cross-country rural, regional development research insights: drawing from WIT/MUN experience, with a comparative study of Newfoundland SEs (see appendix 1).

3) Completed media events in liaison with MUN in relation to (1) and (2) above;

  • 25th June Rural Sparks Podcast – Canada (via Skype, podcast link below)
  • 27th June Rural Routes Podcast, Harris Centre MUN (podcast link below)

Rural Sparks, Ottawa, Canada – How the Irish do it, rural innovation on the emerald isle: https://podcasts.apple.com/ca/podcast/how-the-irish-do-it-rural-innovation-on-the-emerald-isle/id1449859399?i=1000442963803

Rural Routes Podcast, Harris Centre, Memorial University Newfoundland. S3E7 – Rural Innovation in Ireland : http://ruralroutespodcasts.com/?p=2207

Synergy session Poster, Harris Centre, MUN

FUTURE COLLABORATION OPPORTUNITIES:
Documented research findings and conclusions relating to SE studies in Ireland and the ‘PLACE’ SE model developed by the CSE project leaders at MUN.

  • Drafted a report of inter-activity between WIT/ MUN in terms of research, student/ faculty exchange for WIT/ MUN International Office Personnel
  • Drafted an academic paper co-authored with Prof Natalie Slawinski, MBA SEE Program Director and Prof John Schouten, Social Enterprise Chair, MUN. Working Title: ‘Exploring the Social Enterprise PLACE model through a social network lens’ Target journal: Rural Studies

Felicity Kelliher and RIKON, WIT has agreed to support CSE, MUN as an international collaborator on a large Canadian grant application (Ocean Frontiers Institute), July 2019. CSE is leading a work package embedding the SE PLACE model in coastal communities.

L to R: John Maher, Felicity Kelliher, Kieran Cronin, Centre for Newfoundland & Labrador, WIT

APPENDIX 1: SE EXAMPLES, IRELAND AND NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR:

IRELAND
• Dunhill Centre, Waterford
• Senan Cooke publication, ‘The Enterprising Community’, DCU, Ireland
• Tourism Learning Network (Failte Ireland)
• Waterford Greenway
• Nothing Happens by Chance – Social Enterprise Case Studies from Mayo
• Mayo Greenway
• Wild Atlantic Way
• Ancient East

NEWFOUNDLAND & LABRADOR
• Island Rooms, Petty Harbour (http://www.islandrooms.org/)
• Hungry Heart, St. Johns (https://hungryheartcafe.ca/)
• Stella’s Circle, St. Johns (https://stellascircle.ca/)
• Bonne Bay Cottage Hospital Heritage Centre (http://www.norrispoint.ca/files/JuliaAnnWalshHeritageCenter.pdf)
• St. John’s Farmers Market (http://stjohnsfarmersmarket.ca/)
• Women in the fishery [fishing for success in Petty Harbour] (Kimberly Oran, Leo Hearne)… ‘back to the future’, retraining in traditional arts … fish mongering/ cod tonguing.
• The Plantation, Quidi Vidi
• Brigus Forge
• Gordon Slade (retired ACOA) – CEO of Artisans at Work (Atlantic Econ e Museu, Quebec origins)… barter network.
• First Light Centre for Performance and Creativity (St. John’s centre) – 5 performing arts SEs in situ

Iceberg, Cape Spear