‘How do successful for-profit entrepreneurs impact society? Indian commercial entrepreneurs’ involvement in social change’
We explore whether and how commercial entrepreneurs that have experienced economic success through a financial exit event from their for-profit venture involve themselves in social change activities. Answering this question is theoretically and practically important because we know little about how new economic elites (such as newly wealthy commercial entrepreneurs) bring about social change. Using an imprinting perspective we develop a framework on how achieved and ascribed imprinting elements influence successful commercial entrepreneurs’ subsequent involvement in social change. We argue commercial entrepreneurs get imprinted by achieved attributes such as the quality (proxied by exit valuation) of the commercial venture they build and their prior educational background; in addition we examine imprinting by ascribed attributes such as their age at exit and gender. We tested our framework using a hand collected dataset of 665 Indian entrepreneurs that experienced a successful exit from their for-profit venture during 2003 - 2013. Our results suggest that entrepreneurs’ age at exit, gender, overseas educational experiences and exit valuation of their for-profit venture are important predictors of their involvement in social change activities. We discuss our contribution to the literatures on entrepreneurship and social impact.
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