The origins of FairShares research lies in a series of doctoral studies undertaken by staff at SBS. In SHU’s 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) submission, one of SBS’s impact cases noted the use of concepts in them to develop the FairShares Model. When the FairShares Model gained traction amongst practitioners, the FairShares Association was formed to build bridges between academics, students and social enterprise consultants working on (or within) the social economy.
Since REF 2014, SBS staff have continued to research and produce publications on the theory and practice of FairShares. In 2015, a book (The Case for FairShares) was published for members of the FairShares Association. Shortly after, the first journal paper on ‘The FairShares Model’ was published in Croatia.
During this HEIF project, a new book chapter (“The internationalisation of the FairShares Model”) was completed to support our first contribution to a knowledge transfer project (“European FairShares Labs for Social and Blue Innovation”). Further publications are under development, including another book chapter (“Social Economy, Sustainability and the FairShares Model”) for a book on social enterprise that will be published in Japan.
Supported by the Centre for Regional Social and Economic Research (CRESR) in SHU’s faculty of Development and Society, the steering group of the FairShares Institute led an application to become institutional members of the EMES Social Enterprise Research Network. Our successful application demonstrates that the research we produce is internationally recognised for its quality and impact, and that EMES will recognise both the FairShares Institute and CRESR as centres of excellence for third sector research. During this HEIF project, we secured an agreement with EMES to host their 2019 International Social Enterprise Research Conference. This will bring 400 of the world’s leading social enterprise researchers to Sheffield Hallam University.