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Social Capital, Resource Constraints and Low Growth Communities: Lifestyle Entrepreneurs in Nicaragua

1
Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development, Utrecht University, 3584 CS Utrecht, The Netherlands
2
Institute for Environmental and Sustainability Communication, Leuphana University of Lüneburg, Lüneburg 21335, Germany
3
School of Business, Aalto University, Otakaari 24, 02150 Espoo, Finland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2018, 10(10), 3813; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10103813
Received: 13 September 2018 / Revised: 12 October 2018 / Accepted: 17 October 2018 / Published: 22 October 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Economic, Business and Management Aspects of Sustainability)
In the context of the connections between lifestyle entrepreneurship and sustainability, we discuss the way in which social capital may partially substitute or compensate for manufactured and natural capital. In terms of methods we use a case study community of lifestyle entrepreneurs in Nicaragua, operating under conditions of material resource constraints and weak formal institutions. We find that social capital is highly important in such a community, with the entrepreneurs adopting a range of effectuation or coping practices that enable them to function. We document these practices and consider the broader implications of such capital substitution, noting the particularities of the case study but also the implications for sustainability and the economics of a materially resource-constrained world. We draw particularly on Bourdieu’s conception of social capital, which posits that societies inherently organize for multi-capital accumulation, a proposal that itself has implications for sustainability. We conclude that while significant substitution of social for manufactured and natural capital is feasible in communities with values that are supportive of this, it remains to be seen whether this would be attractive to the wider, consumer society. View Full-Text
Keywords: social capital; steady-state economy; lifestyle entrepreneurship; effectuation; Bourdieu social capital; steady-state economy; lifestyle entrepreneurship; effectuation; Bourdieu
MDPI and ACS Style

Klapper, R.; Upham, P.; Kurronen, K. Social Capital, Resource Constraints and Low Growth Communities: Lifestyle Entrepreneurs in Nicaragua. Sustainability 2018, 10, 3813.

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