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Babson Global’s Dr. Daniel Isenberg Keynotes at the 10th International Entrepreneurship Forum in Bahrain January 12, 2011

“How to Foment an Entrepreneurial Revolution.”

Dr. Daniel Isenberg, Executive Director of Babson Global’s Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Project, and Professor of Management Practice at Babson Global, addressed the plenary session of the 10th International Entrepreneurship Forum (IEF) on “How to Foment an Entrepreneurial Revolution.”

Jointly sponsored by University of Essex and the Bahraini, and with OECD support, the 10th IEF was attended by hundreds of participants and speakers from over a dozen countries.

In the speech Dr. Isenberg described seven principles that enable a region, state, city or country to create measurably more entrepreneurship.

The first is to make a clear distinction between self-employment and entrepreneurship. Isenberg argued that the latter is characterized by high levels of aspiration and pursuit of opportunity, and when successful contributes to economic and social growth and development, as well as individual wealth.

“Self-employment puts food on the table, which is quite essential, but it cannot have the benefit to society that high ambition, high aspiration entrepreneurship does.” Isenberg emphasized. “Some entrepreneurship is more broadly beneficial than others.”

The other principles proposed by Isenberg included:

 Be very focused geographically.
 Impact the elements of the entrepreneurship ecosystem in parallel.
 Quantify precisely how much entrepreneurship you want and when.
 Create an independent, non-government “SWAT” team to carry out the job, and disband it after 4-5 years.
 Assign the effort an extremely high strategic priority, on par with defense, health, and education, with appropriate financial resources.
 Take action, learn, and scale.

“These are not recommendations,” explained Isenberg. “These are guidelines to action that leaders have no choice but to implement if they want to achieve results in a few years. I believe the only other alternatives are to passively wait for change to occur, or to continue implementing piecemeal programs, which at best are mildly effective only over a long period of time.”
Babson College in Wellesley, Mass., is recognized internationally as a leader in entrepreneurial management education. Babson grants BS degrees through its innovative undergraduate program, and grants MBA and custom MS and MBA degrees through the F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business at Babson College. Babson Executive Education offers executive development programs to experienced managers worldwide. For information, visit www.babson.edu.

By Michael Chmura, mchmura@babson.edu, 781-239-4549 | 1/12/2011 12:00 AM