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Defying the Odds? Investigating the Role of Social Entrepreneurship in Community Resilience in the Aftermath of the Beirut Explosion

Author:

Dana Ramadan

London School of Economics and Political Science, GB
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Abstract

his study examines the role of social entrepreneurship (SE) in strengthening community resilience and the subsequent position of impact investors in the aftermath of the Beirut explosion. This research is motivated by two research questions: How did social entrepreneurs in Lebanon (members of Lebanon’s local private sector) respond to the Beirut explosion of 2020? How can impact investing play a role in strengthening the social entrepreneurship ecosystem and, by extension, community resilience? Prior studies on community resilience offer roadmaps for how to achieve resilience through community action. The research contributes to knowledge through a novel framing, clarifying that SE in Lebanon, while contributing to community resilience, strives for the engagement of the state rather than its disengagement. My argument is developed based on existing literature supplanted with primary data collected via interviews. I opted for a thematic analysis as my data analysis technique. I argue that SE played a key role in strengthening community resilience in the aftermath of the explosion because of the shared characteristics of SE and community resilience. The findings also suggest that impact investing (II) is needed to boost the SE scene. I further argue that the state is a central stakeholder in allowing SE to increase community resilience and attract impact investments. Implications for policymakers and practitioners vis-à-vis SE and II, and avenues for future research, are discussed. The findings also prompt a rethinking of community resilience in Lebanon - the concept is more complex than previously thought.
How to Cite: Ramadan, D., 2022. Defying the Odds? Investigating the Role of Social Entrepreneurship in Community Resilience in the Aftermath of the Beirut Explosion. LSE International Development Review, 2(2).
Published on 20 Apr 2022.
Peer Reviewed

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