Civic Capitalism: Entrepreneurs, their Ventures and Communities

Candida Brush, Babson College, USA

(with Daniel J Monti Jr, Andrea D Ryan, Amy Gannon)

Abstract

Entrepreneurs and everyday businessmen and women have long engaged in different kinds of civic-minded activities. This study explores ways that urban entrepreneurs and managers engage in civic activities while pursuing business growth. In this preliminary analysis of owners and managers who have participated in a technical assistance program geared for entrepreneurs who are ready to take their existing venture "to the next level", we identify a kind of entrepreneur whose business model incorporates a social mission. These are not "social entrepreneurs" who engage in business practices in order to push their social agenda. Nor are they mimicking businesses that follow a "corporate social responsibility" model because they were shamed into it or believe it will be good for their bottom line. These are people whose ventures must make a profit if their social mission is to be achieved. They run what we call a "civic enterprise". Their behavior reflects a kind of "civic-minded capitalism".

 

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