Competitive Strategies in Community Forestry: Leveraging Through Second-tier Collective Enterprises in Mexico and Guatemala
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Although community forestry is widely recognized as a critical element in sustainable forest management strategies and the livelihoods of forest dependent people, the economic viability of community forest enterprises (CFEs) is poorly understood. Focusing on two second-tier CFEs - ICOFOSA, Mexico and FORESCOM, Guatemala - this study analyzes the competitive factors of CFEs, the emergence of collective entrepreneurship, the balance between business and social goals, and the influence of external interventions. The study findings call for a more realistic view of the trade-offs CFEs face between their social and economic goals, and for imlOvative approaches based on producer agency to adjust their governance structures and interactions with other chain actors to the realities of the market and the overall business environment. Future research and development initiatives need to advance the conceptualization of collective social entrepreneurship, the provision of business development services to CFEs, and opportunities for the professionalization of CFE management.