A network view of entrepreneurship
Here is a definition of entrepreneurship that I came across in another one of Mark Granovetter‘s articles called The Impact of Social Structure on Economic Outcomes. He writes:
Schumpeter defined entrepreneurship as the creation of new opportunities by pulling together previously unconnected resources for a new economic purpose.
Granovetter goes on to say:
One reason resources may be unconnected is that they reside in separated networks of individuals or transactions. Thus, the actor who sits astride structural holes in networks (as described in Burt, 1992) is well placed to innovate. The Norwegian anthropologist Fredrik Barth (1967) paid special attention to situations where goods traded against one another only in restricted circuits of exchange. He defined “entrepreneurship” as the ability to derive profit from breaching such previously separated spheres of exchange.
Schumpeter’s is an interesting definition and now ranks as the one I like best. Most of the other definitions of entrepreneurship I have seen approach it from the point of view of the outcome (new value created through product innovation etc.) rather than the process of network reconfiguration. The process point of view is more generalizable though because most new businesses are not all that innovative in product and fail many other definitions.
Links back to my post on more connected women being more successful..