PLACE Dialogues Norris Point: Re-imagining the role of rural social enterprise and place in a post-Covid world

Lay Summary 

This project will hold a collaborative workshop to convene a network of social entrepreneurs across rural Newfoundland and Labrador. The proposed project is the third in a series of events called the “PLACE Dialogues”, which have been co-hosted by researchers at Memorial’s Faculty of Business Administration and social entrepreneurs in rural NL. These workshops have expanded on a new community economic development framework called the “PLACE model”, named for the acronym outlining its key principles:
• Promote community mobilizers
• Link divergent perspectives
• Assess existing capacities
• Convey compelling narratives
• Engage both/and thinking

This project will engage community leaders and social entrepreneurs from across the province by hosting a collaborative workshop in the community of Norris Point. This workshop, hosted and co-facilitated by the Bonne Bay Cottage Hospital Heritage Corporation (BBCHHC), will continue to build this community of practice, mobilize knowledge from the PLACE model research, and promote shared reflection on the impacts of Covid-19 on rural communities and entrepreneurs.

This collaborative workshop will take a participatory approach by engaging both local groups and community leaders province-wide as active participants in its planning and facilitation. Pending Memorial’s Covid-19 protocols at the time, we will gather 30-40 community leaders and social entrepreneurs from across the province, along with representatives of support organizations and Memorial, for a two-day collaborative workshop in October 2021. The workshop’s objectives are to:
• Continue building a network of social entrepreneurs and community mobilizers across rural NL
• Mobilize knowledge from prior and ongoing research informing the PLACE model
• Provide a forum for rural community leaders to reflect on the experiences of the Covid-19 pandemic and share solutions for community resilience
• Promote multi-directional learning and knowledge-sharing between place-based entrepreneurs, rural community leaders, policy-makers, and members of the Memorial community

A wide range of community partners will be involved in co-designing and facilitating the workshop, including Voice of Bonne Bay Community Radio, Ryakuga Participatory Communications, Ivan J White, Mi'kmaw, from Flat Bay, and Fishing for Success. We will collaboratively design the program and curate a participant list that is dynamic, engaged, and representative of many regions of the province and sectors. University partners like the Centre for Social Enterprise and the Grenfell Office of Engagement will also help ensure that a small but engaged group from across the Memorial community is engaged.

The main outcome of the PLACE Dialogues 3.0 will be the continued development of a network of social entrepreneurs across NL. This workshop will allow us to support and mobilize this network of community-minded entrepreneurs from across rural NL, approaching entrepreneurship in an inclusive way that considers many sectors and ways of acting entrepreneurially for community benefit. This event will therefore build on previous PLACE Dialogues and related events like the New Rural Story Forum by reconvening this dynamic network of community leaders. Another outcome of the workshop will be the promotion of a holistic and asset-based approach to revitalizing local economies, highlighting the Old Cottage Hospital in Norris Point as a living example of harnessing local assets for positive impact and using social enterprise as a catalyst for rural revitalization. The PLACE Dialogues 3.0 will thus provide a forum for community entrepreneurs to support one another, share solutions to common challenges, and identify potential policy recommendations for strengthening social enterprise in NL.

Faculty of Business Administration
Ocean Frontier Institute
Public Engagement Accelerator Fund
Norris Point
Newfoundland and Labrador
Social enterprise
Rural Development
Asset-based community development
Sustainable Development
Start date 
1 Apr 2021
End date 
31 Mar 2022
Lead Organization 
Bonne Bay Cottage Hospital Heritage Corporation