We live in a period during which housing affordability, inequality, and the ecological crisis motivate social entrepreneurs to disrupt homeownership and land development patterns. This study seeks to trace the journey of socially-motivated and institutionally-embedded entrepreneurs, documenting both their investigation into novel housing models as well as the ways they address context-specific institutional problems.
As a “hyper-commodified” and debt-backed housing market is challenged by shocks and disturbances to ecological and economic conditions, how can entrepreneurs model a house-as-home rather than home-as-commodity?
The ideation and prototyping of a new model takes place in one of Canada’s major urban centres—Winnipeg—leveraging experience in Asian, European, and North American contexts. The entrepreneurs draw from knowledge in a variety of professional fields—from finance and law to business, architecture and public policy. The experiential diversity of the group, including a wide geographical, cultural, and professional scope, provides an opportunity to study what Garud et al (2007) refer to as a “theoretical puzzle” in institutional entrepreneurship: how are embedded agents able to envision new practices and get others to adopt them?