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Exploring contemporary entrepreneurial philanthropy

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Charles Harvey, Professor Mairi Maclean


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Research beyond the field of entrepreneurship has long observed the involvement of super-wealthy entrepreneurs in large-scale philanthropic endeavours, while the world’s media has endowed them with celebrity-like status. However, entrepreneurial philanthropy is largely absent from the entrepreneurship research literature. This article addresses this gap both theoretically and empirically. It proposes capital theory as an appropriate theoretical lens through which to view contemporary entrepreneurial philanthropy, and to present fresh evidence relating to successful, wealthy entrepreneurs involved in significant philanthropic ventures. The findings highlight the active deployment of a distinctive blend of different forms of capital as a defining feature of entrepreneurial philanthropy, and contribute to emerging discourses regarding the nature of entrepreneurs, entrepreneurship as a socio-economic process and the sparse empirical analyses on entrepreneurial elites.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Shaw E, Gordon J, Harvey C, Maclean M

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: International Small Business Journal

Year: 2013

Volume: 31

Issue: 5

Pages: 580-599

Print publication date: 01/12/2011

ISSN (print): 0266-2426

ISSN (electronic): 1741-2870

Publisher: Sage Publications Ltd.


DOI: 10.1177/0266242611429164


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