There are some amazing speakers coming to the Mendoza College of Business in the upcoming semester, as part of a lecture series that “explores ideas, issues, and trends likely to affect business and society over the next decade.” The speakers address various topics, such as models of environmental sustainability, business innovation, and social entrepreneurship.
Here’s the link to more information, if anyone is interested:
I recently attended a lecture at the Mendoza College of Business, given by social entrepreneur Matthew Manos. Manos founded the design strategy agency verynice, which gives away half of its work for free to nonprofits. So, if his company takes on 10 paid projects, they also take on 10 unpaid projects. Manos explained that although he is proud of his company—which has donated $6.5 million dollars worth of services to approximately 450 nonprofits since its inception—he also feels as though it is “not enough,” and only a “small dent” in the work that needs to be done. He hopes that verynice’s business model—giving away half of its work for free—will become more of the norm than the exception.
I think that verynice, as well as other companies with similar business models, are part of, and foster, an entrepreneurial society and entrepreneurial economy. Schumpeter writes of capitalism: “we must judge its performance over time.” (Schumpeter 82). Although verynice’s business model is certainly unique, it is part of a small but notable group of other entrepreneurship companies that utilize a charitable business model. Manos pointed out several other businesses that follow in social entrepreneurship: Toms, for example, has a one-for-one model, and donates a pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair sold; LSTN, as well, donates hearing aids with sales of their headphones. It will be exciting to watch how these companies grow—and, with their success, whether other innovative companies adopt a similar business model.
I think these companies align with social entrepreneurship, and foster an entrepreneurial society at large, where consumers care about the products they buy. On the website for LSTN headphones, one customer review states: “I love knowing that a part of my purchase goes to a charitable cause. I wish they were more explicit about the amount, but I remember reading it somewhere.” Consumers in an entrepreneurial society care about both the product and the purpose of the company.
Manos and these other innovative entrepreneurs seem to partake in “creative destruction” because they are “revolutioniz[ing] the economic structure from within, incessantly destroying the old one, incessantly creating a new one.” (Schumpeter 82). They are utilizing innovative business models to increase pro bono work to those in need, and to donate money or a product to a cause. While David Mills writes that “those who so refer so happily to creative destruction are never themselves among the creatively destroyed,” this can perhaps be counteracted by the fact that the byproduct of creative destruction (i.e. innovative business models that give away work for free) is to create new jobs and help more people. (Miller 2).
Interesting article in light of our discussion today of different strands of entrepreneurship. Is seems to me that the author is using the term “entrepreneur” quite liberally here. But, the details of the organizing efforts are quite interesting.
A really interesting interview with Herb Kelleher–especially because he was an attorney who founded a business and because of all the litigation he needed just to get the company off the ground.
How Entrepreneurship Is Reshaping The Legal Industry
This is a great article on how the traditional model of the legal field will be disrupted from the new modes of entrepreneurship and could be improved by technology and other factors. Lawyers tend to fear these technological advances because the more efficiency from the lowering costs of legal matters could cause people to search for cheaper alternative means than to go to lawyers for their legal affairs. Any thoughts?
The following article introduces the debate between those who believe entrepreneurial behavior is genetic and those who believe it can be learned. As is the case in many nature vs. nurture debates, the article seems to suggest it is a combination of both.
According to Pozen, there is a social entrepreneurship that creates social value. There is policy entrepreneurship which develops new ways to package, market, and apply old ideas. There is also Norm Entrepreneurship, and there is Moral Entrepreneurship. There are also failed entrepreneurs. These categories have been promoted by buzz words. When the titles become too specific they generally fail because it is harder to tell what falls into the category.
The new categories have risen due to the growth of the non-profit sector as well as social corporate responsibility. There is also a generous tax code for social entrepreneurs. However, unlike the capital entrepreneurs, these new entrepreneurs are not facing the same financial risks. They will not invest and lose everything they have. Capital entrepreneurs tend to have amoral goals, and they do not make targeted interventions aimed at a specific audience.
Pozen believes that social entrepreneurs are reformers. They improve upon the work of capital entrepreneurs, and therefore should be labeled as entrepreneurs.
Source: We are all Entrepreneurs Now, David E. Posen, March 19, 2008
To me, when thinking about entrepreneurship, the majority of attention is directed towards the “groundbreaking idea” or how to generate the necessary capital for a new company to flourish. The article linked above provides useful insight by exploring how engaging in brand audits can identify strengths and weaknesses within a company that may either nourish or inhibit success.
This article was written by the Dean of Brooklyn Law School. In it, Dean Allard shares his thoughts about his lack of education during law school regarding entrepreneurship. He also shares how he is trying to change this for current law students at Brooklyn Law through teaching them how to work with and support entrepreneurs.
“Will they be entrepreneurs themselves? Some may. Most probably will not. But all will graduate with an understanding of how to work with entrepreneurs and meet and anticipate their legal needs. They will learn how to say, ‘why not!’ or ‘here’s how,’ and not just, ‘no.'”
This article highlights personal stories of three recent lawyers who turned into entrepreneurs. It connects to some of the entrepreneur myths we discussed in class. The journey to entrepreneurship is shaped by very diverse experiences.