The value added approach of contemporary entrepreneurial philanthropy

J. Gordon

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

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Objectives: Generate new knowledge and understanding of the practice of entrepreneurial philanthropy. The paper discusses the value added contribution that practices common to entrepreneurship, and the venture capital subsector, make to the field of philanthropy. Prior Work: There has been very little empirical research conducted on the philanthropic activities and approaches of contemporary entrepreneurs within the field of entrepreneurship. Approach: A case study research strategy has been adopted in this study, with the development of five in depth case studies of five high profile leading entrepreneurial philanthropists and their formal vehicle of philanthropy in the UK. Primary data includes in-depth interviews with the entrepreneurial philanthropist, the chief executive of their foundation, key personnel within the foundation and the social entrepreneurs in receipt of their philanthropic investment. In addition, a second layer of in-depth interviews were conducted with leading sector experts in the field of philanthropy and international development. All interviews have been transcribed verbatim and organised and coded using Nvivo software. The analysis of the data has identified the similarities, differences, continuities and discontinuities in the practice of entrepreneurial philanthropy. Results: The research findings present valuable insights into the philanthropic activity of entrepreneurial philanthropists. Specifically, detailing how they add value to the social entrepreneurs and enterprises they engage with through the adoption of practices more common in the field of entrepreneurship. Implications: The findings are relevant to multiple stakeholders with a vested interest in contemporary philanthropy: policymakers, third sector, social entrepreneurs and high net worth entrepreneurs. Value: The research contributes to the development of new knowledge and understanding on the practice of entrepreneurial philanthropy and the process of engaged investment undertaken with social enterprises. The findings contribute to the discourse on social entrepreneurship and philanthropy.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusUnpublished - 2010
EventInstitute of Small Business and Entrepreneurship - London
Duration: 2 Nov 20104 Nov 2010


ConferenceInstitute of Small Business and Entrepreneurship


  • entrepreneurial philanthropy
  • social entrepreneurship
  • value added
  • venture capital


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