100 books like The Entrepreneurial Society

By David B. Audretsch,

Here are 100 books that The Entrepreneurial Society fans have personally recommended if you like The Entrepreneurial Society. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Joe Carlen Author Of A Brief History of Entrepreneurship: The Pioneers, Profiteers, and Racketeers Who Shaped Our World

From my list on the impact of entrepreneurship on society.

Why am I passionate about this?

As an entrepreneur and a professional business valuation specialist, I have a passion for understanding entrepreneurship and its often-transformational impact on society/civilization. Having worked with many business owners and inventors over the years, I've noticed that money is not always the primary motivating factor for entrepreneurs. In many instances, the benefits their products and services are intended to provide—and, in some instances, the wider social implications of those benefits—are what animates these business adventurers the most. So, these days when the work of NewSpace entrepreneurs like Musk, Bezos, and Branson are likely leading humankind to a multiplanetary future, it's an opportune time to explore the impact of entrepreneurship on society. 

Joe's book list on the impact of entrepreneurship on society

Joe Carlen Why did Joe love this book?

Although Peter Drucker is best remembered as a management guru, he also produced some seminal work on the topic of entrepreneurship, of which Innovation and Entrepreneurship is the most comprehensive. The book explores the close relationship between creative problem-solving (or “innovation”) and successful/socially impactful entrepreneurship. In his lively prose, the fondly remembered business writer provides a rigorous review of the opportunities for entrepreneurship. 

For example, he discusses how “changes in perception” such as changes in how women see themselves in modern society, create opportunities for savvy entrepreneurs. Dr. Drucker also provides excellent insights regarding different forms of entrepreneurship. Perhaps most relevantly, he also explains the ways in which entrepreneurship impacts society and, in his view, makes the United States and some other developed countries more economically resilient. 

By Peter F. Drucker,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Innovation and Entrepreneurship as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

How can management be developed to create the greatest wealth for society as a whole? This is the question Peter Drucker sets out to answer in Innovation and Entrepreneurship. A brilliant, mould-breaking attack on management orthodoxy it is one of Drucker's most important books, offering an excellent overview of some of his main ideas. He argues that what defines an entrepreneur is their attitude to change: 'the entrepreneur always searches for change, responds to it and exploits it as an opportunity'. To exploit change, according to Drucker, is to innovate. Stressing the importance of low-tech entrepreneurship, the challenge of balancing…


Book cover of Business Cycles: A Theoretical, Historical, and Statistical Analysis of the Capitalist Process

Joe Carlen Author Of A Brief History of Entrepreneurship: The Pioneers, Profiteers, and Racketeers Who Shaped Our World

From my list on the impact of entrepreneurship on society.

Why am I passionate about this?

As an entrepreneur and a professional business valuation specialist, I have a passion for understanding entrepreneurship and its often-transformational impact on society/civilization. Having worked with many business owners and inventors over the years, I've noticed that money is not always the primary motivating factor for entrepreneurs. In many instances, the benefits their products and services are intended to provide—and, in some instances, the wider social implications of those benefits—are what animates these business adventurers the most. So, these days when the work of NewSpace entrepreneurs like Musk, Bezos, and Branson are likely leading humankind to a multiplanetary future, it's an opportune time to explore the impact of entrepreneurship on society. 

Joe's book list on the impact of entrepreneurship on society

Joe Carlen Why did Joe love this book?

More so than almost any other economist of his stature, Joseph Schumpeter appreciated the central importance of entrepreneurship to any proper understanding of economics. After all, Schumpeter was the academic who popularized (but did not actually coin) the term “creative destruction,” now synonymous with the disruptive but ultimately beneficial process of innovative entrepreneurship.  

In Business Cycles, among other topics, the Austrian-born economist explains how the entrepreneur, defined as an “individual who carries out innovations,” interacts with the capitalist, defined as “the one who bears the [financial] risk.” Their collaborative work lies at the core of what Schumpeter describes as economic “evolution,” impacting the business cycle and the lives of everyone in a capitalist society. First published in 1939, Schumpeter’s observations still resonate over 80 years later.

By Joseph A. Schumpeter,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Business Cycles as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

2017 Reprint of 1939 First Edition.  Volume One Only.  Volume Two published separately by Martino Fine Books ISBN 978-1-68422-065-6.  Full facsimile of the original edition, not reproduced with Optical Recognition Software. Schumpeter is without doubt one of the most influential economists of the 20th century.  “Business Cycles” [1939] is considered his great work. We reprint the first edition published in 1939 in two volumes. In "Business Cycles" Schumpeter focuses powerfully on the historical role of technological innovation in accounting for the high degree of instability in capitalists societies. He aims to analyze empirically the actual process of economic development using…


Book cover of Getting Beyond Better: How Social Entrepreneurship Works

Joe Carlen Author Of A Brief History of Entrepreneurship: The Pioneers, Profiteers, and Racketeers Who Shaped Our World

From my list on the impact of entrepreneurship on society.

Why am I passionate about this?

As an entrepreneur and a professional business valuation specialist, I have a passion for understanding entrepreneurship and its often-transformational impact on society/civilization. Having worked with many business owners and inventors over the years, I've noticed that money is not always the primary motivating factor for entrepreneurs. In many instances, the benefits their products and services are intended to provide—and, in some instances, the wider social implications of those benefits—are what animates these business adventurers the most. So, these days when the work of NewSpace entrepreneurs like Musk, Bezos, and Branson are likely leading humankind to a multiplanetary future, it's an opportune time to explore the impact of entrepreneurship on society. 

Joe's book list on the impact of entrepreneurship on society

Joe Carlen Why did Joe love this book?

One of the more readable books on the topic of social entrepreneurship, Getting Beyond Better clarifies the mission of the modern social entrepreneur. Like many governments, the social entrepreneur is seeking to provide goods and services to fellow citizens but, unlike most governments, this do-gooder also must contend with the imperative to turn a profit, albeit not to the same extent as most “regular” entrepreneurs. 

Within this distinctive paradigm, social entrepreneurs may be empowered to tackle social problems in ways that are more sustainable, equitable, and benevolent than purely profit-driven entrepreneurship is capable of. For those eager to “do well” for themselves while “doing good” for society, Getting Beyond Better offers a compelling blueprint.

By Roger L. Martin, Sally Osberg,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Getting Beyond Better as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Who drives transformation in society? How do they do it? In this compelling book, strategy guru Roger L. Martin and Skoll Foundation President and CEO Sally R. Osberg describe how social entrepreneurs target systems that exist in a stable but unjust equilibrium and transform them into entirely new, superior, and sustainable equilibria. All of these leaders--call them disrupters, visionaries, or changemakers--develop, build, and scale their solutions in ways that bring about the truly revolutionary change that makes the world a fairer and better place. The book begins with a probing and useful theory of social entrepreneurship, moving through history to…


Book cover of Bill Gates Speaks: Insight from the World's Greatest Entrepreneur

Joe Carlen Author Of A Brief History of Entrepreneurship: The Pioneers, Profiteers, and Racketeers Who Shaped Our World

From my list on the impact of entrepreneurship on society.

Why am I passionate about this?

As an entrepreneur and a professional business valuation specialist, I have a passion for understanding entrepreneurship and its often-transformational impact on society/civilization. Having worked with many business owners and inventors over the years, I've noticed that money is not always the primary motivating factor for entrepreneurs. In many instances, the benefits their products and services are intended to provide—and, in some instances, the wider social implications of those benefits—are what animates these business adventurers the most. So, these days when the work of NewSpace entrepreneurs like Musk, Bezos, and Branson are likely leading humankind to a multiplanetary future, it's an opportune time to explore the impact of entrepreneurship on society. 

Joe's book list on the impact of entrepreneurship on society

Joe Carlen Why did Joe love this book?

Bill Gates Speaks is a collection and analysis of some of the Microsoft mega-entrepreneur’s most intriguing quotes. Gates’ reflections on business, technology, social improvement (e.g., “I have no doubt that computers can help kids develop more of their mental potential”) and even government provide tremendous insight into the nexus of entrepreneurship and society. Especially considering his remarkable philanthropy in recent years, few people understand that relationship in the firsthand manner that Bill Gates does. 

By Janet Lowe,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Bill Gates Speaks as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Love him or hate him, Bill Gates has single-handedly shaped the technological future of the twenty-first century. Created through the independent research of bestselling author Janet Lowe, Bill Gates Speaks documents the life and ambitions of one of the world's most unique business and cultural leaders. The only book to compile Gates' actual words-culled from articles, newscasts, and interviews-this profile reveals what Gates has to say on everything from financing a start-up to running a conglomerate, developing technology, to raising a family.


Book cover of Chasing Innovation: Making Entrepreneurial Citizens in Modern India

Mircea Raianu Author Of Tata: The Global Corporation That Built Indian Capitalism

From my list on capitalism in 21st century India.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a historian of global capitalism and South Asia, writing about corporations as they are and how they could be. I've looked at India with the eyes of an outsider, drawing on my experiences growing up in 1990s Eastern Europe during a time of political upheaval and shock privatizations as the old communist order crumbled. Having witnessed the rise of a new class of monopolists and oligarchs in its stead, I became interested in the many different ways capitalists exercise power in society over time and around the world, and how we as ordinary citizens relate to them. I'm now interested in thinkers, activists, and entrepreneurs who have tried to experiment with alternatives

Mircea's book list on capitalism in 21st century India

Mircea Raianu Why did Mircea love this book?

A key aspect of the “India story,” as described on the macro level by Kaur, is entrepreneurship and the ethos of jugaad (innovating by making do). The idea of India as the new Silicon Valley has captured the global imagination, while the creative use of technology promises to solve longstanding social and economic problems within the country. Lilly Irani’s study questions the dominant framework of “entrepreneurial citizenship” among the new middle classes and the centrality of design practice to India’s current development model. This is another stellar example of interdisciplinary scholarship, based on ethnographic fieldwork at a Delhi design studio and drawing on the author’s background in computer science. 

By Lilly Irani,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Chasing Innovation as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A vivid look at how India has developed the idea of entrepreneurial citizens as leaders mobilizing society and how people try to live that promise

Can entrepreneurs develop a nation, serve the poor, and pursue creative freedom, all while generating economic value? In Chasing Innovation, Lilly Irani shows the contradictions that arise as designers, engineers, and businesspeople frame development and governance as opportunities to innovate. Irani documents the rise of "entrepreneurial citizenship" in India over the past seventy years, demonstrating how a global ethos of development through design has come to shape state policy, economic investment, and the middle class…


Book cover of Americana: A 400-Year History of American Capitalism

Derek Lidow Author Of The Entrepreneurs: The Relentless Quest for Value

From my list on most truthful about how entrepreneurship works.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have had the unique experience of having been a successful CEO of a global publicly traded semiconductor company, a founder and CEO of an innovative and valuable startup, and now as a teacher and scholar of entrepreneurship and innovation. I’m a Professor of the Practice at Princeton University where I teach and write about being a successful entrepreneur. My three books on the subject are: Startup Leadership: How Savvy Entrepreneurs Turn Their Ideas Into Successful Enterprises; Building on Bedrock: What Sam Walton, Walt Disney, and Other Great Self-Made Entrepreneurs Can Teach Us About Building Valuable Companies; and THE ENTREPRENEURS: The Relentless Quest for Value

Derek's book list on most truthful about how entrepreneurship works

Derek Lidow Why did Derek love this book?

This is a book of 35 short chapters that each describe a slice of America’s development from a new country into the leader of the capitalist world… which is actually a story about entrepreneurship. Srinvasan’s style is very engaging, and the book is a page-turner. Each chapter describes the development of a market or new way of doing business, like “railroads,” “steel,” “banking,” and “advertising.” Once you’ve finished reading this book, you cannot help but marvel at what entrepreneurs have accomplished.

By Bhu Srinivasan,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Americana as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An absorbing and original narrative history of American capitalism

NAMED A BEST BOOK OF 2017 BY THE ECONOMIST

From the days of the Mayflower and the Virginia Company, America has been a place for people to dream, invent, build, tinker, and bet the farm in pursuit of a better life. Americana takes us on a four-hundred-year journey of this spirit of innovation and ambition through a series of Next Big Things -- the inventions, techniques, and industries that drove American history forward: from the telegraph, the railroad, guns, radio, and banking to flight, suburbia, and sneakers, culminating with the Internet…


Book cover of Entrepreneurship and Self-Help among Black Americans: A Reconsideration of Race and Economics

Robert E. Weems, Jr. Author Of Business in Black and White: American Presidents and Black Entrepreneurs in the Twentieth Century

From my list on African American business history.

Why am I passionate about this?

My passion and expertise related to African American business history began years ago when I searched for a Ph.D. dissertation topic. After mulling over a variety of options, I ultimately decided to examine the history of an African American insurance company in my hometown of Chicago, Illinois. While working on this project, I began to formulate ideas for future research in the realm of African American business history. I subsequently developed into one of the acknowledged experts in this field. Based upon my track record, I served as a historical consultant and appeared in the documentary Boss: The Black Experience in Business which premiered on PBS in April 2019.

Robert's book list on African American business history

Robert E. Weems, Jr. Why did Robert love this book?

Professor Butler’s classic book is a foundational work in the realm of African American business history.

Combining both sociological and historical analysis, Entrepreneurship and Self-Help Among Black Americans includes case studies of notable African American business districts.

For instance, years before recent interest in the horrific destruction of Tulsa’s “Black Wall Street” in 1921, Butler provided an in-depth examination of this phenomenon.

This book is also valuable because it provides an important comparative analysis of historic African American entrepreneurship with that of various nonwhite immigrant groups.  

By John Sibley Butler,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Entrepreneurship and Self-Help among Black Americans as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This long-awaited revision of a classic work traces the unique development of business enterprises and other community organizations among black Americans from before the Civil War to the present.


Book cover of I Was a Potato Oligarch: Travels and Travails in the New Russia

Golda Mowe Author Of Iban Journey

From my list on to experience life-changing adventures.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been fascinated with travel and adventure stories since I read The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton. I finished a whole Walter Scott book; with a dictionary balanced on one knee because Jeanie Deans decides to walk from Edinburgh to London. Romance? Bah! Humbug! I’d rather journey into The Heart of Darkness, follow the hobbits to Mount Doom, or ride a sandworm with Paul Atreides. Show me a lone traveler thrown into the middle of an unfamiliar, confusing culture and you have my full attention. Naturally, when I started typing out my first manuscript, it just had to be a fantasy adventure about an Iban headhunter.

Golda's book list on to experience life-changing adventures

Golda Mowe Why did Golda love this book?

John Mole tells his stories the same way an Iban man would when he returns from a particularly harrowing work travel. I personally think that the memoir is a tragedy disguised as a comedy because some parts of his description of life in Russia after the fall of the Soviet Union made my stomach cramp with emotion. At the same time, they also made me laugh because his imageries are so comical. His first-world naiveté either gets him scammed or rescued, but his survival instincts always kick in when it matters. So, if you are interested in a modern Wild-Wild-West adventure, this is the book for you.

By John Mole,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked I Was a Potato Oligarch as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In a charming saga of sun, sea, sand - and cement - John Mole tells of the back-breaking but joyous labours of fixing up his own Arcadia and introduces a warm, generous and garrulous cast of characters who helped (and occasionally hindered) his progress.


Book cover of The Economics of Belonging: A Radical Plan to Win Back the Left Behind and Achieve Prosperity for All

Harald Sander Author Of Understanding the New Global Economy: A European Perspective

From my list on how to make globalization work for all people.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a boomer and working-class kid, I experienced living conditions improving rapidly. This sparked my interest in studying international and development economics to explore how we can create a better and more equitable world. As professor of international economics, I have been researching and teaching for many years about what is now known as “globalization”. This taught me two things that inspired me to write my latest book: First, to understand the process and consequences of (de-)globalization, in-depth study is essential to avoid popular misconceptions about the global economy; and, second, globalization needs to be carefully managed to make it work for all people.

Harald's book list on how to make globalization work for all people

Harald Sander Why did Harald love this book?

Financial Times columnist Martin Sandbu laments “the end of belonging”, a decades-long but unwritten social contract in postwar Western-style social market democracies that promised boomers and their parents broadly shared prosperity.

Being a boomer myself, I know all too well what he is talking about. However, he argues that globalization is often used as a scapegoat, and posits that national policies to offset the negative side effects of (global) markets are feasible even in a globalized world.

He proposes a range of policies from wealth taxes to minimum wages, active labor market policies, and macroeconomic stimuli to create a high-pressure economy, but emphasizes that it is crucial to put together a comprehensive package of all suggested policies to make (global) markets work for everyone.

By Martin Sandbu,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Economics of Belonging as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A radical new approach to economic policy that addresses the symptoms and causes of inequality in Western society today

Fueled by populism and the frustrations of the disenfranchised, the past few years have witnessed the widespread rejection of the economic and political order that Western countries built up after 1945. Political debates have turned into violent clashes between those who want to "take their country back" and those viewed as defending an elitist, broken, and unpatriotic social contract. There seems to be an increasing polarization of values. The Economics of Belonging argues that we should step back and take a…


Book cover of Trade and Poverty: When the Third World Fell Behind

Per Molander Author Of The Anatomy Of Inequality: Its Social and Economic Origins - and Solutions

From my list on (in)equality and why it is a problem.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was trained in physics and applied mathematics, but my mother—a teacher of literature and history—secured a place for the humanities in my intellectual luggage, and I finally ended up in the social sciences. One of my first encounters with economics was John Nash’s theory of bargaining, illustrating how a wealthy person will gain more from a negotiation than a pauper, thus reinforcing inequality and leading to instability. Decades later, I returned to this problem and found that relatively little had still been done to analyze it. I believe that a combination of mathematical tools and illustrations from history, literature, and philosophy is an appropriate way of approaching the complex of inequality. 

Per's book list on (in)equality and why it is a problem

Per Molander Why did Per love this book?

I enjoy myth-busting.

A favorite message from the economic profession is that free trade is good for everyone, and that those who do not agree are either misguided or defending vested interests of their own. In this book, Williamson shows that this view is false.

The welfare gap between the West and the rest of the world developed during the 19th and 20th centuries in large part because of trade-induced division of labor that led to de-industrialization, increased inequality, and volatile revenues in the losing countries—factors that all contributed to retarding economic growth and social development in countries that are now poor.

More recently, the free movement of capital has had similarly negative effects on developing and emerging economies, a fact that is now recognized also in organizations such as the IMF.

By Jeffrey G. Williamson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Trade and Poverty as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

How the rise of globalization over the past two centuries helps explain the income gap between rich and poor countries today.

Today's wide economic gap between the postindustrial countries of the West and the poorer countries of the third world is not new. Fifty years ago, the world economic order—two hundred years in the making—was already characterized by a vast difference in per capita income between rich and poor countries and by the fact that poor countries exported commodities (agricultural or mineral products) while rich countries exported manufactured products. In Trade and Poverty, leading economic historian Jeffrey G. Williamson traces…


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