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We Are All Entrepreneurs Now

58 Pages Posted: 5 Dec 2007 Last revised: 3 Apr 2008

David Pozen

Columbia Law School


A funny thing happened to the entrepreneur in legal, business, and social science scholarship. She strayed from her capitalist roots, took on more and more functions that have little to do with starting or running a business, and became wildly popular in the process. Nowadays, "social entrepreneurs" tackle civic problems through innovative methods, "policy entrepreneurs" promote new forms of government action, "norm entrepreneurs" seek to change the way society thinks or behaves, and "moral entrepreneurs" try to alter the boundaries of duty or compassion. "Ethnification entrepreneurs," "polarization entrepreneurs," and other newfangled spinoffs pursue more discrete objectives. Entrepreneurial rhetoric has never been so trendy or so plastic. This Article documents the proliferation of entrepreneurs in the American academic idiom, and it offers some reflections on the causes and consequences of this trend.

Keywords: entrepreneurship, social entrepreneur, moral entrepreneur, norm entrepreneur, policy entrepreneur, entrepreneurial rhetoric, entrepreneur meme, capitalism, Cantillon, Say, Schumpeter, Marx, Weber, Knight, Baumol, Kirzner, Ashoka

JEL Classification: A12, A20, B10, B20, K00, M13, Z10

Suggested Citation

Pozen, David mname, We Are All Entrepreneurs Now. Wake Forest Law Review, Vol. 43, pp. 283-340, 2008. Available at SSRN:

David E. Pozen (Contact Author)

Columbia Law School ( email )

435 West 116th Street
New York, NY 10025
United States


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