Babson Entrepreneur Experience Lab Debuts New Research: Elements of the Entrepreneurs Inside Experience

What can a reverend, a public transit director, a community organizer, a bicycle manufacturer, an innovation network director, a university President, an acquisition analyst for the Defense Department, and a food cooperative worker-owner teach us about entrepreneurship?

Babson College and BIF are excited to debut Elements of the Entrepreneurs Inside Experience - a deep exploration into how individuals think and act entrepreneurially within organizations. This is the second volume of research from the Babson Entrepreneur Experience Lab framing Entrepreneurs of All KindsTM.

Why do we want to understand the experiences of entrepreneurs inside?

A 2011 Gallup employee engagement poll found that 71 percent of American workers are "not engaged" or "actively disengaged." But there is an exception:

Entrepreneurs

Passionate and deeply connected to their work, these individuals are flourishing. What's working for these entrepreneurs that isn't for the rest of the American workforce?

To answer this question, the Babson Entrepreneur Experience Lab (#eLab) engaged a diverse mix of entrepreneurs on the "inside," people within a diverse mix of corporations (government agencies, nonprofits, self-organizing entities, cooperatives, and religious groups) who were trying to create something of value, be it a high-impact initiative, or a new division, department, product, service, process or practice.

Elements of the Entrepreneurs Inside Experience has wide reaching implications for organizations and employees alike, illuminating insights about:

  • How employers can nurture an entrepreneurial mindset and how "entrepreneurs inside" can help employers develop experimentation skills that can strengthen an organization's success and failure responses -- critical for adaptation and growth
  • Specific ways these entrepreneurs inside can mobilize others to act and identify ways to recombine organizational resources in new and different ways
  • How to effectively manage relationships and build teams so that entrepreneurial energy continues to sustain high employee engagement.

Through this research, we are developing new insights about how we encourage people to think and act entrepreneurially in all contexts, which is critical to our nation's economic recovery. It is people who drive change and innovation, not organizations.

In the next year, we'll continue to build on our research while also moving into experimentation, testing opportunities to help institutions, organizations, and communities unleash more entrepreneurial activity. If you're interested in getting involved email us at engage@businessinnovationfactory.com.

About the Lab

In 2010, Babson College and BIF created the Babson Entrepreneur Experience Lab to accelerate the design and development of new entrepreneur support solutions. The Entrepreneur Experience Lab is driven by big questions: How can we extend entrepreneurship to the many, not the few? How can we begin to recognize the economic and social value created by millions acting in an entrepreneurial way? How can we strengthen communities by becoming entrepreneurial hotspots? How can we support Entrepreneurs of all KindsTM? Our research includes two volumes of work that examine the experience of entrepreneurs creating new ventures and those working within a variety of organizations.

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