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Rochelle Spencer (Murdoch University)
Published in:
Revision date:
26 pages
Data source:
Field research


At the heart of this inclusive business case study are the core issues of communication and sensitisation, misunderstanding and trust, and community partnerships. In this case we meet John, a Director of the non-government organisation, Business for Development (B4D). He is keen to see the progress of a mining company’s community development project in Kenya that focuses on rural livelihoods called the Kwale Cotton Project. We follow John as he visits various project stakeholders and hears what they’ve got to say about the project. He meets with the farmers who have been directly affected by the mining activities in their community, and who consequently, are now the beneficiaries of the project. He finds there is a lot of support from them for the goals of the project but they also raise many issues. These conversations reveal some of the risks that need addressing if the project is to be successful for the community. At the centre of the project, is the newly formed farmers’ co-operative. John meets with its executive committee members to discuss the concerns of the various project stakeholders. What John comes to realise is the diverse and at times competing interests and interplay among stakeholders that pose risks to the project. The case study illustrates that the stakeholders' interactions with these risks influence the granting or withholding of three related licenses - social, actuarial and political. Students are asked to reflect on the various issues arising from the different stakeholder perspectives and to consider what advice John should provide to the cooperative to address the challenges.

Teaching and learning

This item is suitable for undergraduate, postgraduate and executive education courses.


Corporate social responsibility (CSR); Business ethics & CSR; Development and sustainability; Community development; Community engagement; Rural development; Rural livelihoods; Agricultural development; Smallholder African farmers; NGOs (non government organisations); Mining sector; Extractive resources; Social license to operate; Inclusive business model; Stakeholder engagement


The events covered by this item took place in 2018.

Geographical setting

Kwale County

Featured companies

Company name:
Business for Development
Rural development
Company name:
Base Titanium
Public company

Featured protagonist

  • John Cook (male), Director, Africa

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