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The Enterprising Community

A Bottom Up Perspective On The Capacity Within Communities To Regenerate by Dr. Senan Cooke


The book explores the potential of a bottom up regeneration strategy that creates new enterprises in local communities. A small task group of 6-8 people with a good knowledge of local assets and opportunities can complete an audit and report. The report highlights how 10 jobs can be created in urban and rural, large and small, disadvantaged and resourced on mountainside and seaside, in old and new communities throughout the county.

Every community organisation, support agency, and third level institution should read the book which includes interesting case study material on how local resources are used to create new jobs, services and facilities.

Book available for €20

Order by emailing Senan:

If you're ordering from overseas, it is €20 plus shipping cost.


Sr. Patricia Wall, Ballingarry, Co.Tipperary. National Volunteer of Year Award Winner 2017.


From my work with Ballingarry Community Development, Slieveardagh Rural Development and Millennium Family Resource Centre, I have long been aware of, and interested in the amazing work that Senan does with Dunhill Eco Park, DFBA Enterprises and Communities Creating Jobs.

Senan’s book “The Enterprising Community” is an inspirational read which gives many case studies outlining the amazing work going on throughout the country by small groups, having a huge effect on their communities. I believe fervently in localities helping themselves to develop facilities and employment among their own communities, of course, with the help of Government agencies. The book helps to open the mind to possible opportunities and gives clear advice on how to start the process of developing those ideas, what questions a group need to ask themselves and where to get help, when needed. The concept of Communities Creating Jobs, pioneered by Senan and his colleagues interests me greatly and if each community developed 10 jobs it would have a major impact, both from a national perspective in terms of employment and at local level in terms of community self-development. Anybody involved in community development in Ireland needs to read this book.

Linda Ledger CEO, St Munchin's Enterprise Centre, Limerick.

I was unable to leave the book out of my hands once I had started it. The content is brilliant and the many great ideas and suggestions in it are so helpful to social enterprise project teams.

Eddie Keher, Inistioge, Kilkenny Hurling Legend.

The Enterprising Community is a unique resource for those engaged in social enterprise projects in local communities. I strongly recommend it to everyone interested in the topic. 

Walter O'Leary, Chairman of Dunbrody Trust and Law Lecturer, New Ross

I have read the book with great interest. It is a marvellous achievement and a blueprint for best practice in the future.

Phil Hogan, European Commissioner for Agriculture & Rural Development endorses ‘The Enterprising Community’.

“I am pleased to endorse The Enterprising Community as a valuable reference book for bottom up

community development and social enterprise. A multiplicity of best practice initiatives, both at Irish and

European level point the way forward:  The Leader approach and SmartVillages initiative at European

level; and at Irish level the CEDRA Report which outlined 34 recommendations to support the medium

term economic development to 2025. Senan Cooke’s long experience in this area makes him a highly

qualified author of this roadmap, which should be of interest to community groups and social

enterprises.”  For more information see

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