Archive for August, 2009

What makes entrepreneurs tick?

Tuesday, August 25th, 2009

An interesting paper published this summer by Vivek Wadhwa et al.: “Anatomy of an Entrepreneur: Family Background and Motivation.”

The paper’s abstract:

“Entrepreneurs are among the most celebrated people in our culture. Celebrity entrepreneurs such as Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Sergey Brin and Larry Page, often grace the covers of prominent publications. These company founders and innovators fuel economic growth and give the nation its competitive edge.

“However, very little is known today about the backgrounds, life histories, motivations and beliefs of these entrepreneurs. So myths and stereotypes prevail. The commonly held belief is that entrepreneurs are young, lightly-educated, childless unmarried workaholics. They are perceived to come from rich families and graduate from elite colleges.

“But is this true?

“This research answers some of these questions. This is based on a survey of 549 company founders in 12 high-growth industries.

“It finds that most founders came from middle-class or upper-lower-class backgrounds, are well-educated and married with children. The strongest motivation for starting a company was to ‘build wealth.’ Other popular motivators included capitalizing on a business idea; the appeal of a startup culture; a desire to own a company; and a lack of interest in working for someone else.”

Here’s the link to the paper at the Social Science Research Network.

Ten9Eight: inspiring young entrepreneurs

Saturday, August 15th, 2009

Check out this documentary to be released this fall: Ten9Eight. Directed by Mary Mazzio, it is about a dozen instant-classic American success stories — and entrepreneurship’s power over poverty and adversity.

In an upcoming issue of Kaizen we interview Steve Mariotti, founder and CEO of the impressive Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship. Several of the young entrepreneurs in Ten9Eight are graduates of NFTE.

CEE goes Web 2.0

Tuesday, August 11th, 2009

CEE has moved into the new world of social networking, now having Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Center for Ethics and Entrepreneurship:
Twitter: RC_CEE

Department of Philosophy, Rockford University:
Twitter: RCPhil

(Thanks to Anja Hartleb-Parson and Shawn Klein for activating these features.)

The principles behind Walt Disney’s success

Monday, August 10th, 2009

Barry Linetsky, consulting partner at The Strategic Planning Group, discusses Walt Disney’s principles of achieving business success in this short essay (PDF).

Entrepreneurship links

Monday, August 3rd, 2009

Check out this wide-ranging list of useful entrepreneurship-related links.

What business ethics can learn from entrepreneurship

Saturday, August 1st, 2009

apee-100x177CEE’s Stephen Hicks’s essay on “What Business Ethics Can Learn from Entrepreneurship” [pdf] was published in the Spring 2009 issue of the Journal of Private Enterprise, edited by Edward Peter Stringham.

The abstract:

“Entrepreneurship is increasingly studied as a fundamental and foundational economic phenomenon. It has, however, received less attention as an ethical phenomenon. Much contemporary business ethics assumes its core application purposes to be (1) to stop predatory business practices and (2) to encourage philanthropy and charity by business. Certainly predation is immoral and charity has a place in ethics, but neither should be the first concerns of ethics. Instead, business ethics should make fundamental the values and virtues of entrepreneurs — i.e., those self-responsible and productive individuals who create value and trade with others to win-win advantage.”