Kauffman-Funded Book Explores the Intersection of Entrepreneurship and Philanthropy

Expert essays help fill the gap in research on entrepreneur-philanthropists; ebook now available

Little academic research exists on the juncture of entrepreneurship and philanthropy. The Kauffman-funded book, Handbook of Research on Entrepreneurs' Engagement in Philanthropy, explores how and why successful entrepreneurs become engaged in philanthropy.

Available in hardcopy and ebook, the book includes a compilation of essays by 31 academics and experts who offer an understanding of entrepreneurs in their for-profit world and an understanding of the world of philanthropy. The essays address the motivations that drive entrepreneurs and philanthropists, and the social and political environments that are conducive to their success.

The book is the outcome of a collaboration among three researchers who had experiences with entrepreneurship and philanthropy—including the inspiration of Ewing Marion Kauffman, founder of the Kauffman Foundation.

"Mr. Kauffman's evolution from an entrepreneur who focused on creating jobs to a philanthropist with a profound desire to benefit his community represents an important phenomenon that warrants more study," said Robert Strom, research director at the Kauffman Foundation. "There is little systematic investigation into entrepreneurs and their philanthropic engagements, so we wanted this volume to shed light on the underlying dynamics of the topic."  

Strom co-edited the book with Marilyn L. Taylor, Arvin Gottlieb/Missouri chair in Strategic Management, Henry W. Bloch School of Management and David O. Renz, Beth K. Smith/Missouri chair in Nonprofit Leadership and the director of the Midwest Center for Nonprofit Leadership.

The book differentiates the behaviors and practices of successful entrepreneurs from the larger world of the wealthy who become philanthropists, identifying entrepreneur-philanthropists as unique because they have generated their wealth through the creation and development of their own enterprises.

Chapter topics include:

  • Women entrepreneur-philanthropists: A discussion of the limited research available on the philanthropic activities of women entrepreneurs, and a call for more research on the subject. The authors frame the next set of research questions on the philanthropic activities of entrepreneurial women, emphasizing the importance of work on the effects of philanthropic, entrepreneurial parents on women's choices, the impact of role models, women's interest in recognition, the importance of formal education, and the effects of social networks on philanthropic behavior. 
  • Black entrepreneur-philanthropists: A review of the literature and a research update on the topic of philanthropy among Black entrepreneurs. The chapter revisits earlier work on the topic and extends our understanding of previous findings, especially regarding the role of ethical justifications in minority business enterprises.
  • Multi-generational entrepreneur-philanthropists: An exploration of the long history of philanthropic giving by multigenerational family firms and a discussion of the role philanthropy plays in these businesses and the families that own them, from uniting the family to educating children and leaving a family legacy. 
  • High-tech entrepreneur-philanthropists: A discussion of what is and is not distinctive about high-tech entrepreneurs' philanthropy, including a broad discussion of the different modes in which these philanthropists engage with the organizations they support and the expectations they bring to the effort.
  • Silicon Valley entrepreneur-philanthropists: A case study of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, complementing the discussion of high-tech entrepreneurs and offering an in-depth profile of a specific group of entrepreneurs and their engagement with philanthropy.
  • Global entrepreneur-philanthropists in Europe, China, Africa, and the United States: Discussions of philanthropy by entrepreneurs outside the United States, extending an international perspective on the phenomenon and offering unique insight into the social, historical, cultural, and political underpinnings of entrepreneurs' philanthropy in different parts of the world.
  • Case studies of two entrepreneurs who transitioned to philanthropy, Ewing Marion Kauffman and Mario Morino: A comparison of the activities and backgrounds of these entrepreneurs as philanthropists, providing insight into the influences on their philanthropic decisions.

The book is published by Edward Elgar Publishing.