Community economic development

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Community Economic Development (CED) is a field of study that actively elicits community involvement when working with government, and private sectors to build strong communities, industries, and markets. "Community Economic Development is a multifaceted comprehensive approach to community change that is not limited to just poverty programs, nor is it synonymous with industrial recruitment. Community Economic Development is not an attempt to exploit resources to yield the maximum economic return." [1]

Community economic development encourages using local resources in a way that enhances economic opportunities while improving social conditions in a sustainable way. Often CED initiatives are implemented to overcome crises, and increase opportunities for communities who are disadvantaged. An aspect of “localizing economics,” CED is a community-centred process that blends social and economic development to foster the economic, social, ecological and cultural well-being of communities. For example, neighborhood business organizations target growth in specific commercial areas by lobbying government authorities for special tax rates and real estate developments. At the same time, development strategies must consider common pitfalls, such as a financial mismatch between the industry and the locale à la shopping malls, that results in commercial activity that does not benefit the community.[2] It may form part of an ESCED initiative. Research indicates that one benefit of community development venture capital may be its effect in bringing traditional venture capital investment to underserved regions.[3]

Community economic development is an alternative to conventional economic development. Its central tenet is that: “... problems facing communities—unemployment, poverty, job loss, environmental degradation and loss of community control—need to be addressed in a holistic and participatory way.”

Community Economic Development is often involved in a process of building Social Enterprises that are part of the social economy. Sometimes called the Third Sector, a community-based social enterprise is a partnership between government agencies, small to medium enterprises, large national or transnational corporations and the not-for-profit sector, and aims for social, economic and/or environmental outcomes that none of these agencies could achieve for and by themselves. [4]


  1. ^ Ron Schaffer, Steven C. Deller, David W. Marcouiller. Community Economics: linking theory and practice. Iowa State University Press. 2004. Retrieved January 15, 2011. 
  2. ^ DeFilippis, James (2012). The Community Development Reader. Routledge. ISBN 978-0415507769. 
  3. ^ Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Doing Well by Doing Good? Community Development Venture Capital, September 2012
  4. ^ "What is CED?". Canadian Community Economic Development Network. Retrieved April 26, 2010. 

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