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  • Print publication year: 2012
  • Online publication date: June 2012

2 - What is entrepreneurship?

Summary

Entrepreneurship is one of the fastest-growing subfields in management research, and is increasingly appearing in economics, sociology, anthropology, finance, and even law. Entrepreneurship became a Division (specialized interest group) within the Academy of Management in 1987 and now has its own subject code (L26) in the Journal of Economic Literature classification scheme. Research and policy organizations such as the World Bank, the US Federal Reserve System, the European Commission, the United Nation’s FAO, the OECD, agencies involved in agricultural and rural development, and others show a growing interest in studying and encouraging entrepreneurship. The Kauffman Foundation has substantially increased its funding for data collection, academic research, and education on entrepreneurship.

Entrepreneurship is also becoming one of the most popular subjects at colleges and universities (Gartner and Vesper, 1999; Solomon, Duffy, and Tarabishy, 2002). Entrepreneurship courses, programs, and activities are emerging not only in schools of business, but throughout the curriculum. In 2008 US colleges and universities offered over 2,200 entrepreneurship courses at over 2,000 schools (Cone, 2008), over 600 schools offered majors in entrepreneurship, and an additional 400 with concentrations in entrepreneurship (Kuratko, 2008). The number of Ph.D. programs conferring degrees in entrepreneurship has also increased in the last 20 years (Katz, 2007) and the number of refereed academic entrepreneurship journals have risen in impact factor ratings among peer-reviewed management journals (Gatewood and Shaver, 2009). While the field remains a minority specialization among business school faculties (Katz, 2003), during the 1990s the number of entrepreneurship positions increased by over 250 percent and the number of candidates nearly doubled (Finkle and Deeds, 2001). Besides the usual business school offerings, courses in Social Entrepreneurship, Family Business Management, Technical Entrepreneurship, Performing Arts Entrepreneurship, and the like are popping up in colleges of arts and sciences, engineering, education, social work, and even fine arts.

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