Roots, Revivals and Reinventions

Community Business in Regional Perspective since the 1970s

During the 1970s Britain’s long-standing traditions of co-operation and voluntarism experienced a period of innovation and evolution. The community business movement emerged from this milieu as a form of trading that prioritised social good over profit, becoming an important forerunner to social enterprise. Yet little is known about the history of these community businesses, how they revived and reinvented aspects of voluntarism and co-operation and aided the regeneration of post-industrial communities in the process. Using case studies of community business in three such communities -Scotland’s Central belt, Lancashire and the West Midlands - this PhD will provide the first systematic, historical analysis of how regional economic, social, and cultural dynamics have affected the development of community business over time. Importantly, this PhD will inform current understandings of community business by developing the long-view of the role of community business in local economic regeneration.

This PhD is jointly funded by Power to Change (, an English organisation which supports and develops community businesses, and Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU). The successful applicant will form part of a cohort of PhDs funded by Power to Change. This partnership provides a valuable network of research contacts, opportunities for public engagement, and scope to generate pathways to research impact with third sector organisations. Based at GCU, you will benefit from the vibrant, interdisciplinary, research environment of both the Yunus Centre for Social Business and Health ( and the Glasgow School for Business and Society (

The successful candidate will possess an excellent Master’s degree in Modern History, have experience in, or an interest in developing, oral history methodology. S/he will possess excellent oral and written communication skills to be able to work with third sector organisations and to disseminate findings to diverse audiences.

Director of Studies: Dr Janet Greenlees 
Supervisor: Dr Gillian Murray 

Reference: Yunus-2019-004

Closing date for applications is Wednesday 3rd July.

To apply for the studentship please visit: