Table of Contents

Handbook of Research on Entrepreneurs’ Engagement in Philanthropy

Handbook of Research on Entrepreneurs’ Engagement in Philanthropy


Elgar original reference

Edited by Marilyn L. Taylor, Robert J. Strom and David O. Renz

Currently, very little academic research exists on the intersection of entrepreneurship and philanthropy. This unique Handbook fills that gap, exploring how and why entrepreneurs who drive success in the for-profit world become engaged in philanthropy. Top family business and entrepreneurship scholars explore the many facets of this fascinating subject.

Chapter 12: Enabling, promoting and protecting the entrepreneur, philanthropist, entrepreneur-philanthropist, and the American way of life

John Tyler

Subjects: business and management, entrepreneurship, social entrepreneurship


The United States’ history of entrepreneurial achievement is remarkable. It has been a story of extraordinary innovations in products, services and even entire industries that have stimulated economic growth while simultaneously advancing human welfare generally and providing opportunities for individual comfort, convenience and fulfillment more specifically. A by product has been realization of unprecedented degrees of private wealth. That wealth has given rise to a distinctively US (hereafter: American) style of philanthropy and its own remarkable achievements in the irrevocable dedication of hundreds of billions of dollars of private resources to the broader interests of society and its charitable purposes. Thus, entrepreneur and philanthropist often are connected, whether via a sequential continuum of earning the money earlier in life and devoting it to charitable purposes later, or through the more recent experience of the earning and dedicating happening at the same time, or even sometimes in concert as part of the same ventures. None of this happens in a vacuum. It occurs in a context of principles and policies that favor both entrepreneurship and philanthropy. Some of them apply uniquely to each role – such as regulation of securities and financial markets that most directly affect the entrepreneur – while in other instances they may have materially shaped both roles, such as with tax policy. Some are new, such as the emerging hybrid business structures by which simultaneously pursuing distributable profits and the public good are accepted as matters of fiduciary duty.

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