What is driving the declining quality of innovation-driven entrepreneurship? In this paper, we argue the growing entrepreneurship industry is an important yet overlooked explanation.This rapidly growing industry has transformed the nature of entrepreneurship and, in doing so, encouraged a particular form of marginal, low-quality entrepreneurship. It has done so by leveraging the Ideology of Entrepreneurialism to mass-produce and mass-market products that make possible what we term Veblenian Entrepreneurship. This is entrepreneurship pursued primarily as a form of conspicuously consumption. Aside from lowering average entrepreneurial quality, Veblenian Entrepreneurship has a range of (short-run) positive and (medium and long-run) negative effects for both individuals and society at large. We argue that the rise of the Veblenian Entrepreneur has contributed to creating an increasingly Untrepreneurial Economy. That is an economy which superficially appears innovation-driven and dynamic, but is actually rife with inefficiencies, damaging for individuals and societies unable to generate economically meaningful growth through innovation.
Professor Andre Spicer, Cass Business School
Andre Spicer is Professor of Organisational Behaviour at Cass Business School, City, University of London. His work has been widely published in top scholarly journals. He is also author of nine books including ‘The Wellness Syndrome’, ‘The Stupidity Paradox’, and ‘Business Bullshit’. He is a regular contributor to the Guardian. He is currently working on a study of the role of doubt in social and economic life.