Isenberg first spoke on, “Entrepreneurship Lessons from Around the World.”

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Dr. Daniel Isenberg, Executive Director of Babson College’s Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Project, and Professor of Management Practice at Babson Global, gave two keynote speeches during the capstone events of Cape Town Entrepreneurship Week in South Africa.

Following Cape Town mayor Dan Plato, Isenberg first spoke on, “Entrepreneurship Lessons from Around the World,” In the speech before a group of 150 entrepreneurs, Dr. Isenberg made a clear distinction between self-employment and entrepreneurship, arguing that most entrepreneurship consists of “normal people doing abnormal things,” rather than the Jobs, Bransons, Gates, and Bezos, who represent models so successful that they actually discourage entrepreneurship because they are inaccessible to the “ordinary” person. “When you observe what entrepreneurs really do around the world, you see that anyone can do it, regardless of name or social status. It depends mostly on what a person has between his or her ears in terms of attitude.” Dr. Isenberg pointed out that most entrepreneurship does not involve major innovations, nor does it require topical expertise. “The forms and manifestations of entrepreneurship are as many as there are colors in the rainbow, and it is ubiquitous in one form or another in every society,” claimed Isenberg, using examples from his two dozen Harvard cases on entrepreneurs from each of the world’s major continents.

During the second day of events, Dr. Isenberg addressed an audience of 100 government officials, heads of foundations, academics, and other professionals, on “How to Create an Entrepreneurial Revolution in Cape Town.” Arguing that self-employment puts food on the table, which is often quite necessary, Dr. Isenberg explained the benefit to society that high ambition, high aspiration entrepreneurship can have. "In that sense, although all entrepreneurs are created equal, not all entrepreneurship is created equal," Isenberg emphasized. “Some entrepreneurship is more broadly beneficial than others.”

The Babson Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Project (BEEP) is part of Babson Global, the global action research subsidiary of Babson College, the world leader in entrepreneurship education. BEEP creates projects around the world to foster substantially greater levels of entrepreneurship in specific regions. For more information contact Dr. Isenberg at revolution@babson.edu. More information can be found at www.entrepreneurial-revolution.com and www.facebook.com/entrepreneurial.revolution.

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 | 11/22/2010 06:00