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Is entrepreneurship a legacy of the Olympic Games for young people?

This Anglia Ruskin University project examines the entrepreneurial legacy of the Olympic Games in two cities, London and Rio de Janeiro, through funding from the International Olympic Committee (IOC).  It will focus in particular on social enterprises set up by young people.

Starting in July 2018 and entitled: ‘Fostering social entrepreneurship in deprived host city communities: Introducing the "Youth Social Entrepreneurship (YSE) legacy Framework’, the research will look at the impact of the recent Olympic Games in London (2012) and Rio de Janeiro (2016) on the entrepreneurial journeys of young people in the poorest areas of both cities.

Here social entrepreneurship is seen in enterprises set up not only to generate profits but also to address local community or wider societal issues.  It has been a movement challenging business models in tackling society’s deeper problems and has brought diverse groups and individuals into enterprise activity.

Positive impacts from the Games were an intended legacy for poorer areas in both cities but reported results vary, with some claims that those in poorer areas are marginalized in the large infrastructure projects required to host the Games.  Yet there is evidence that the Games can support youth enterprise.

Do local people benefit from living in a Games City if they live in deprived areas through the wider contacts the Games bring to their communities?  This is one of the questions the study will explore to try to help future Olympic cities to make the most of the opportunity the Olympics provide – especially in revitalising poorer areas where enterprise levels are lower.

The research includes a detailed literature review, survey in two cities and qualitative case studies, applied to allow a new framework to emerge,   In this way, while  the  research results will add to the growing theory and literature of social entrepreneurship, the impacts of the research will be through a framework used to inform future Olympic  cities and the IOC itself in reviewing g applications for IOC funding.

With applications from 56 researchers from 19 countries across five continents, the proposal underwent a rigorous selection process by the IOC. The research will be conducted together with Co-Principal Investigator Dr Michael Duignan of Coventry University and assisted by colleagues in New York and Rio de Janeiro.

For more information on the project, please contact Professor Lynn Martin by email or Twitter