What Are Education Entrepreneurs?

August 1, 2006

This chapter was written for Educational Entrepreneurship: Realities, Challenges, and Possibilities, a volume edited by Frederick Hess of the American Enterprise Institute and published by Harvard Education Press.

The chapter defines education entrepreneurs as visionary thinkers who create brand new for-profit or nonprofit organizations that seek to have a large-scale impact on the entire public school system-and in so doing, redefine our sense of what is possible in public education. It then offers some perspective on the role of entrepreneurs in public education, what creates opportunity for them to flourish, and what resources they need to be successful. Finally, this paper offers some thoughts on how education entrepreneurs might inform the operation of more responsive performance-driven public school systems in the information age.