Although entrepreneurship is widely seen as a buzzword – or an artifact of our capitalist ideals – this activity goes much deeper into human activity and cultural change than previous thought. Academics like myself are beginning to explore entrepreneurship as an engine for cultural change across the globe.
Entrepreneurship starts with the identification of ‘needs’ and ‘wants’. A ‘want’ is the fads and fashions we typically link to entrepreneurship – think iPhones and other indulgent products or services. A ‘need’, however, is some situation, product or service that must be met to fulfill the basic human need – think housing, food, energy, health and clean water and air. However, what we all ‘want’ and ‘need’ is culturally bound and constructed. What one sees as a ‘want’ and a ‘need’ tend to vary across cultures.
A person who identifies some unmet cultural need, designs products and organizes others to meet these needs acts like an entrepreneur – an entrepreneur striving for cultural change.
In this blog, I comment on the motivations, the processes, and the successes from cultural entrepreneurs across the globe. I draw on examples and cutting edge academic research to explore how everyday people are revolutionizing their communities and societies.
Join me as we reclaim the term ‘entrepreneurship’ from economists interested only in economic growth, and move towards an understanding of bottom-up cultural change in the age of globalization.