Vol. 25 (Issue 1) pp. 52-67

Exploring social capital within Damietta’s furniture industry value chain as a mode of Community Currency

Nourhan Heysham*, Hisham Elkadi*, Sara Biscaya*

*School of The Built Environment, University of Salford, Manchester, United Kingdom


Social Capital contributes to the development of professions as well as communities, especially in small scale urban settings with a dense interlocking social structure. Within industry-based communities, a strong Social Capital Network acts as a basis for transactions between enterprises, which strongly ties into the drivers that constitute many of today’s community/alternative currency initiatives. Furniture enterprises in Damietta form the main economic base of the city, with majority of residents working in furniture-related activities, passing down their businesses through generations. This paper examines the impact of Social Capital on the nature of this industry’s value chain and extent of its influence on business patterns and transactions as a driving force towards an unspoken alternative currency. This is achieved though examining Damietta’s existing spatial, social and business patterns, which arise and influence the city’s socio-economic industry dynamics. The paper aims at provoking arguments on geographical scale and lifestyle patterns being instrumental in the formulation of a local system of transactions based on Social Capital. The paper builds on the work of Putnam, Wallman and Porter, using interviews and GIS spatial mapping to investigate the connection between Social Capital measures (trust, networks and norms), local furniture industry value chain and socio-spatial living and working patterns in Damietta. The results reveal spatial and social connections that exhibit how Social Capital in Damietta’s Furniture industry drives an unspoken currency between enterprises in the city.


Social Capital, Value Chain, Community Currency, Furniture Industry, MSMEs

Article Heysham et al.

To cite this article:

Heysham, N, Elkadi, H and Biscaya, S (2021) ‘Exploring Social capital within Damietta’s furniture industry value chain as mode of community currency ’ International Journal of Community Currency Research Volume 25 (Issue 1) 52-67; http://www.ijccr.net; ISSN 1325-9547; DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.15133/j.ijccr.2021.004