Dr. John Schouten

Report from the Canada Research Chair (CRC) (Tier 1) in Social Enterprise


In May of 2018, the Faculty of Business Administration’s Canada Research Chair (CRC) (Tier 1) in Social Enterprise was officially awarded and funded, validating a venture in which many people invested enormous time, energy and creativity. For all of them, I feel enormous gratitude.

Part of the CRC mandate is training and supporting other researchers. I am excited to be working with two new PhD students, Farshad Amini and Jennifer Brenton. Mr. Amini’s research will focus on a social enterprise in his home village in northern Iran. Ms. Brenton’s work will focus on Fishing for Success in Petty Harbour.

Both dissertations will have strong action components, ensuring contributions to the lives of citizens involved in these social enterprises as well as to social enterprise scholarship.

Along with our Centre for Social Enterprise, I was pleased to co-host Drs. Neil Stott, Paul Tracey and Michelle Fava from the Cambridge University Centre for Social Innovation, who conferred with us about the new master of business administration in social enterprise and entrepreneurship (MBA-SEE) and potential joint research efforts and knowledge mobilization.

I was also privileged to join Dr. Natalie Slawinski, Dr. Blair Winsor and the rest of the team conducting SSHRC-funded research with Shorefast and its social enterprises on Fogo Island in order to participate in knowledge-mobilization activities.

We’ve produced one journal article so far and have another in process. More importantly, in November we conducted a workshop on Fogo Island (during the storm of the century!) with 40 community champions and social entrepreneurs from across Newfoundland and Labrador. We shared research outcomes, established their applicability to other contexts, and developed a model for social enterprise and community development, called PLACE, which has been well-received for its potential to inspire and guide renewal in rural and remote communities.

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