Public entrepreneurship as social creativity

World Futures 62 (8):595 – 609 (2006)
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Abstract

The article begins with an overview of the innovation process and the entrepreneurial process, each treated as separate but interrelated phenomena. The innovation process tracks the evolution of a new idea through time, whereas the entrepreneurial process tracks the activities that entrepreneurs develop to promote and defend the idea against its detractors. The model of innovation and entrepreneurship introduced distinguishes between individual and collective entrepreneurship and identifies two types of collective entrepreneurship: team entrepreneurship and functional entrepreneurship. A Minnesota case study demonstrates the power of both team and functional entrepreneurship. It also illustrates how important the linkages are between the entrepreneurs and their larger community. An innovative idea's development and survival depends on an "ecology of organizations" that provide "venture" capital for analysis and experimentation. The vast networks of contacts and associations represent a form of social capital just as important as the community's economic capital. In this case, both aspects of social creativity - the community resources and the network of social relations - were found to be instrumental in passing and implementing the first public school choice program in the country.

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