Bridging roles of social innovations in rural development: craft initiatives from Kutch, India

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Bayraktaroğlu S.

Journal of Design for Resilience in Architecture and Planning, vol.1, no.1, pp.103-118, 2020 (Peer-Reviewed Journal)


Business practices are often highlighted by development studies for their contribution to the resilience of the rural population. However, business contributing to rural development has to fulfill distinct characteristics and roles compared with urban counterparts. Commercial organizations that are solely targeting economic growth and lacking social aspects of development might not contribute to the overall sustainability of the region. This paper draws on three notions discussed in the literature -social innovations, sustainable rural development, and bridging organizations- to illustrate the relationship between business activities and rural capital. Two textile craft initiatives from rural India, Kala Raksha and Khamir, were investigated in order to trace the developmental roles and characteristics of business in rural. The research identifies a set of rural social innovations and elaborates on their five bridging roles contributing to the development of the region. Findings indicate that social innovations playing bridging roles have the potentials to contribute to the sustainability of rural enterprises and the development of the region.