Micro-enterprises are numerous and take many different forms – from the steadily self-employed, to the precarious gig economy worker, to the family business, to the second or ‘top up’ income generator. This diversity means that they are largely ignored by policy makers, despite their potential importance to enterprise, innovation, skills and broader economic policy.
This seminar uses case studies of different forms of craft-microenterprises to suggest how and, perhaps, why micro-enterprises create more or less sustainable outcomes in terms of economic activity, community development, health and wellbeing and environmental impacts. By focussing on craft micro-enterprises – specifically in construction and yarn/textiles – this study also encompasses some consideration of the nature of “good work” and how practical craft skills may offer value for individuals and communities.
Examining micro-enterprises also uncovers a diverse set of networks, formal and informal, real and virtual, which offer ideas for the future shapes of sustainable micro-enterprises and the infrastructure they need.
**All welcome – postgraduate and PhD students are particularly encouraged to attend. Refreshments will be provided – to confirm a place please notify Pamela Macaulay: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr Alice Owen is an Associate Professor of Business, Sustainability & Stakeholder Engagement in the Sustainability Research Institute at the University of Leeds and a CUSP Fellow. She became a social scientist and academic after two decades of experience in business and public policy at a variety of scales in the UK including 6 years as a Sustainable Development Commissioner. Research into the practices of small firms that dominate the construction industry has led her to be interested in micro-enterprises more generally.