Local Economy

These are the frequently asked questions for local economy.

What is community economic development?

‘Community economic development’ or ‘CED’ describes the process of economic development within a specific geographic area that aims to be beneficial for the local community, to make the economy in that area work well for that community. The process is led by people living, working and running businesses in that area.

It tackles the interconnected environmental, social and economic issues as being interconnected, and recognises the importance of connections between the local, regional and national layers of the economy. Building on the knowledge, experience and resources in that community, it identifies and maximises the local economic opportunities available.

Within our use of CED we emphasise three important attributes:

  • The overall focus is the economy. CED is all about reshaping the underlying economic system of a place, rather than working on improving people’s capacity to live well within the existing environment.
  • The economy is a means to an end, not an end in itself. Rather than emphasising economic growth as the end goal of local economic development, a CED approach is interested in economic development, which generates human wellbeing within environmental limits, at a community level.
  • It’s led by the community. In CED, the power to drive the change rests within the community of residents, local businesses, local service providers, community groups and voluntary sector organisations with a direct stake in the economic health of that area.

To learn more about the concept of ‘community economic development and what it may mean for your community’, read our full introductory guide here.