Sustainable Community Development through Entrepreneurship: Corporate-Based versus Wellbeing-Centered Approaches to Responsible Production

Sustainable Community Development through Entrepreneurship


Partners:  IBF, Business School, The University of Queensland, Continental Gold Mining Company, AngloGold Ashanti, Seafields Resources Canadian Exploration Company, Local and State governments of Antioquia and Risaralda, Ministry of Mines of Colombia

Impact: This project aims to build new theory about the links between sustainable community development, entrepreneurship, community wellbeing and interlinkages between the Sustainable Development Goal 12 (hereafter SDG 12) – Sustainable Consumption and Production and the Sustainable Development Goal 3 (hereafter SDG 3) – Good Health and Wellbeing. New theory is needed because multidimensional wellbeing has not been used as an outcome variable with which to assess relative merits or understand the intricacies of how development approaches achieve synergies or fragmentation between the varying components of wellbeing. The research presented here is based on a case study qualitative methodology strategy. Evidence shows that resource-rich regions of Latin America are sites for sustainable community development and responsible production by international companies. Through a comparative case study of two resource towns in Colombia – Antioquia and Risaralda – we find contrasting approaches with different outcomes. A top-down corporate-based approach to sustainable community development occurred in Antioquia but bound the future of the community to resource extraction (mining) with limited attention to other aspects of community wellbeing. This reduced the overall resilience and wellbeing opportunities for the community. In Risaralda, by contrast, a more responsible, wellbeing-conscious approach was adopted based on local entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship here was not only focused on economic development and the future self-sufficiency of the community apart from mining but was also conscious of producing responsibly and building a greater range of wellbeing components other than just economic. We use these results to articulate a wellbeing-centric approach to development called Entrepreneurship for Community Wellbeing.