Municipal Local Economic Development and the Multiplier effect: Piloting a Community Enterprise Identification Method in South Africa and Namibia
A pilot process of running ‘Plugging the Leaks’ workshops in low income communities in South Africa and Namibia revealed that spending choices in these communities are severely limited in a context where there is no effective welfare state. Therefore, empowerment with this method came from the discovery of collective action and networking, rather than from individual spending choices. Local start-up business tends to be limited to survivalist and copy-cat one-person ventures, and are a last resort when formal employment is absent. In this context collective enterprise offers the necessary empowerment for people to attempt financially sustainable ventures that respond to a gap in the local economy. The pilot project is attempting to show that municipal LED staff can play the role of facilitator for initiating the enterprise-identification process and further mobilise state enterprise support agencies around the locus of LED, without crossing the line between facilitation and implementation of ’projects’.
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