Government, University and Business Linkages
New Horizons in Entrepreneurship series
Edited by Scott Shane
Chapter 8: Regional Wealth Creation and the 21st Century: Women and 'Minorities' in the Tradition of Economic Strangers
8. Regional wealth creation and the 21st century: women and ‘minorities’ in the tradition of economic strangers John Butler THEORETICAL CONSIDERATIONS The study of wealth creation and economic prosperity and its related formulas that predict success, stands at the center of scholarship that is concerned with how countries, regions and cities prosper. When Adam Smith penned The Wealth of Nations in 1776, he posited the nation state as the unit of analysis for an understanding of prosperity. Jan Jacobs, in Cities and the Wealth of Nations, posits the city as the major contributor to wealth creation within nation states. In a real sense, these works are indicative of theoretical debates that have been discussed within the academy for years. The purpose of this chapter is to understand, within the context of nation states, cities and regions, the contribution of women and minority-owned enterprises in America. The theoretical tradition for the study of women and ‘minority’ enterprises lay in the early scholarship of George Simmel, whose work brings together the importance of the city and the development of entrepreneurship. Writing in the late 1800s, he tried to account for the structures that produced people who were more likely to start enterprises as societies were moving from hunting and gathering to market economies. Using Europe as a laboratory, he noted that people who brought market economies to early hunting and gathering societies were distinct ethnic groups who were never from the existing economic structure of the established society, but were merchants from...
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