Community enterprises in Italy. Distinctive traits and development pathways

Publication date: 3 April 2024
Research areas: Innovative models
Publication categories: Research Reports
Arguments: Local development
Organizational types: Comunità Intraprendenti
Tags: Community enterprises, comunità intrapredenti

This report focuses on the study of Community Enterprises in Italy, with particular attention to their development over the past two years, analyzing their territorial and organizational characteristics.

One relevant finding is the exponential growth of community enterprises over four years, despite several cases of closure or inactivity also demonstrating the fragility of this type of enterprise. However, the responsiveness and resilience of community enterprises to periods of crisis, not least the Covid-19 pandemic, highlight the peculiarities of these enterprises and their relevance to local development processes.

The report is divided into several sections:

  • Presentation of the data collected on the geographical distribution, promoters and motivations of community enterprises.
  • Analysis of governance models: between internal and external inclusion.
  • Insight into methods of involvement to the processes of the enterprise of inhabitants and relations with public administration and other territorial organizations.
  • Analysis of the financing tools used by these enterprises to support projects.
  • Examination of some issues that emerged during the research, including the choice of legal form, the role of regional regulations, the influence of cooperative power plants, and economic and management factors that influence the economic sustainability of enterprises.
  • Conclusions and suggestions for encouraging and supporting the sustainable development of community enterprises and target communities.

This study is part of a larger research that aims to understand community activation as a growing phenomenon, identifying its areas of intervention, conditions of development and limitations. The project “Communities Enterprising. In search of new practices of social transformation” which is spread over several years, sees not only the scientific involvement of Euricse, but also the collaboration of the Compagnia di San Paolo Foundation, Fondazione CRC, Fondazione con il Sud, FondoSviluppo FVG and the Alliance of Italian Cooperatives.