Non-market Entrepreneurship

Non-market Entrepreneurship

Interdisciplinary Approaches

Edited by Gordon E. Shockley, Peter M. Frank and Roger R. Stough

As defined by the editors of this book, ‘non-market entrepreneurship’ consists of all forms of entrepreneurship not being undertaken solely for purposes of profit maximization or commercialization, and encompasses entrepreneurial activities such as social enterprise and entrepreneurship, public sector entrepreneurship, policy entrepreneurship, non-profit entrepreneurship, and philanthropic enterprise, among many others. The eminent cast of contributors gives coherence to the academic and public discussions on the topic, builds a theoretical edifice within the field of entrepreneurship and helps to establish and delineate the contours of the research field of non-market entrepreneurship.

Chapter 4: Non-market Sources of American Entrepreneurial Capitalism

Zoltan J. Acs, Ronnie J. Phillips, David B. Audretsch and Sameeksha Acsdesai

Subjects: business and management, entrepreneurship, public management, social entrepreneurship, development studies, social entrepreneurship, politics and public policy, public administration and management, public policy, social entrepreneurship


Zoltan J. Acs, Ronnie J. Phillips, David B. Audretsch and Sameeksha Desai INTRODUCTION The success of the American economy over time has been linked to its entrepreneurial spirit. Individual initiative and creativity, along with small business and wealth creation, are indelible parts of the American spirit. The recent technological revolution and resulting economic restructuring have made both the general public and government officials keenly aware of the entrepreneur’s role in job and wealth creation (Hebert and Link, 1989). This critical role in economic development has fostered efforts by all levels of government to promote entrepreneurship (Hart, 2001). However, another crucial component of American economic, political and social stability is increasingly recognized: Philanthropy. Merle Curti in 1957 advanced the hypothesis that ‘philanthropy has been one of the major aspects of and keys to American social and cultural development’ (Curti, 1957: 353). To this we would add that philanthropy has also been crucial in economic development. Further, when combined with entrepreneurship, the entrepreneurship-philanthropy nexus (Acs and Phillips, 2002) becomes a potent force in explaining the long-run dominance of the American economy. A major difference between American capitalism and many other forms of capitalism1 (Japanese, French, German and Scandinavian) is a historic focus on both the creation of wealth (entrepreneurship) and the reconstitution of wealth (philanthropy). Philanthropy is imbedded within an implicit social contract that stipulates wealth beyond a certain point should revert to society (Chernow, 1999). Although individuals are free to accumulate wealth, it must be invested back into...

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