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Invisible Capital: How Unseen Forces Shape Entrepreneurial Opportunity [Kindle Edition]

Chris Rabb
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Writer, consultant and speaker Chris Rabb coined the term "invisible capital" to represent the unseen forces that dramatically impact entrepreneurial viability when a good attitude, a great idea, and hard work simply aren't enough.

In his book, Invisible Capital: How Unseen Forces Shape Entrepreneurial Opportunity, Rabb puts forth concrete and effective ways entrepreneurs and their advocates can build and grow sustainable enterprises amid these unseen forces created by society's uneven playing field.

By honoring democratic ideals, challenging assumptions, and reframing how success is defined, Rabb illuminates the promise of commonwealth entrepreneurship. This compelling and often counter-intuitive book illustrates how broad and meaningful entrepreneurial opportunity benefits not just individual entrepreneurs, but local communities and society at large.

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

A native of Chicago, Chris Rabb is a visiting researcher at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and is a fellow at Demos, a non-partisan think-tank in New York City.

Product Details

  • File Size: 870 KB
  • Print Length: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers (November 2, 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0047O2B8O
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #321,038 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Should be read by Every American December 12, 2010
By Icyone
I was attracted to this book after hearing the author on a radio interview. For the first time, I heard conclusion after conclusion about entrepreneurship and small business that I myself have long believed but had not been able to articulate -- along with many facts and figures to support those views.

In my family I can trace a history of business ownership and entrepreneurship back over 200 years. My generation were the first to spend our lives as "non-entrepreneurs". I have long concluded that the American secular religion of "small business" and "entrepreneurship" is misplaced and based upon misunderstanding and distortion of fact -- and that in many cases the seductive imperative to "be your own boss" and "own your own business", along with the deliberate falsehoods in the political arena that "small businesses create the most jobs" ignores the reality that most small businesses fail, after failing to ever generate a profit. (So when small businesses fail, what happens to all those jobs that were "created"???)

What most small businesses actually amount to is self-employment -- frequently in the absence of paying jobs, and/or a huge suck-off of hard earned savings -- or perhaps a small windfall or inheritance -- from naive individuals who have neither knowledge nor aptitude for actually starting a successful business. Rather than an engine for growth, unsound attempts a entrepreneurship are often a machine for wealth extraction for the naive and unprepared.

If these comments either intrigue or infuriate you, let me recommend this book to your attention!! Entrepreneurship is commendable and an important part of our society, but it demands an understanding of the risks and requirements. Be prepared!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must Read for Striving Entrepreneurs! October 28, 2010
By Crome
I'm a student interested in social entrepreneurship so I decided to check Invisible Capital. This book was beyond informative! Chris Rabb basically spelled out everything that no one is willing to say about the real nature of entrepreneurship! I have read it twice and it has pretty much changed a lot of perspectives I have always had. I really appreciate the points he brought up about how most people always think it's about hard work and dedication, but down play the real reasons why successful entrepreneurs are able to separate themselves from the majority who fail. After Rabb reframes common misconceptions about entrepreneurship, small busineso ses, and opportunity, he challenges what we think of as "successful" and lays out new definitions and routes of success that reach far beyond profit margins and into our communities and nation as a whole. I definitely recommend this book to anyone who is striving to be an entrepreneur.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Real World of Entrepreneurial Opportunity January 1, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book provides information, statistics and an honest discussion around the uneven playing field surrounding entrepreneurial opportunities. It is an important read for potential entrepreneurs, community leaders and elected officials truly interested in how to increase economic development on Main Street. The chapter on Reframing Entrepreneurial Success...and Failure is a game changer. The author has exposed more of the challenges behind the American Dream without dampening the spirit of the Entrepreneur. In truth, this book helps prepare the entrepreneur by exposing the real landscape behind the entrepreneurial journey.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I am I and my invisible capital. February 19, 2011
Chris categorizes various forms of financial capital, social capital, cultural capital, and human capital as "invisible capital." He explains why and how people who inherit or luck upon wealthy, prestigious, or powerful families or friends have much easier paths to successful entrepreneurship, all other things remaining equal, than their equally talented, intelligent, industrious, and ambitious peers whose family members or friends can't afford to invest in their ventures, can't afford to pay for their private schools or university tuitions, can't guarantee safety nets will be there if they fail, don't know much about business or law, and don't know many people of influence. In essence, the more invisible capital someone has, the lower his or her barrier to entry to entrepreneurial competitions. Learning more about all the various ways invisible capital influences entrepreneurial competition and all the social science that supports Chris's sociological arguments made this book worth more than a quick skim. This book deserves to be perused.

Entrepreneurs who had to build up our financial capital, cultural capital, and social capital as well as our human capital before we could compete successfully against entrepreneurs who inherited or lucked upon a lot of invisible capital are sure to grasp Chris's argument immediately. Proponents of meritocratic entrepreneurial competition will feel like members of the choir while reading this book. It is a very important contribution. Additionally, it will strengthen arguments I commonly make while having dinner with my professional friends. Now, instead of trying to explain all the hidden and unearned competitive advantages that most of the most successful U.S.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Walt
I've said it before and I'll say it again, if you are truly serious about being in business for yourself you need to read & research period. I highly suggest starting with "Invisible Capital". It's an invaluable resource for entrepreneurs as well as, well, everyone who works for a living and students who will work for a living.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read
Anyone who is thinking of starting a business should read this book. It lays out facts in a manner that is easy to understand and really hits home. Read more
Published on June 30, 2012 by Rachel Berbiglia
4.0 out of 5 stars A hard-nosed assessment of the odds entrepreneurs must overcome
How do you explain the high failure rate for new businesses in the US, land of opportunity and the American Dream? Read more
Published on July 25, 2011 by Rolf Dobelli
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book about Businesses in USA
Mr. Rabb's book is a must read for anyone who is serious about getting started in business.

So often we do not realize how much of an advantage we have when we start a... Read more
Published on May 30, 2011 by Darrell W. Pone
5.0 out of 5 stars This book give you an idea
Well tried, and tested Chris Rabb has an idea of what it take to open, run, and to keep running your business for years to come. It opens your mind. Read more
Published on March 17, 2011 by Magic Eddie
5.0 out of 5 stars Business collections catering to entrepreneurs will find it compelling
INVISIBLE CAPITAL: HOW UNSEEN FORCES SHAPE ENTREPRENEURIAL OPPORTUNITY offers a fine analysis of a set of factors that can increase intangible assets for a business. Read more
Published on January 16, 2011 by Midwest Book Review
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Advice On How To Access YOUR Invisible Capital!
This was a really insightful book. Chris Rabb makes a compelling argument on why it is so important
for you to take stock of the assets that you have going for you and to... Read more
Published on October 20, 2010 by John Hinds
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More About the Author

Chris Rabb is a writer, consultant and speaker on the intersection of entrepreneurship, politics, media and social identity.

A native of Chicago, he is currently a visiting researcher at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and fellow at Demos, a national nonpartisan advocacy and research center based in New York City.

Mr. Rabb is an alumnus of Yale College and a recipient of a M.S. in Organizational Dynamics from the University of Pennsylvania. He has worked in the U.S. Senate, the White House Conference on Small Business, and has run a technology-based product design firm and nationally recognized business incubator.

A 2001 awardee of the German Marshall Fund's American Marshall Memorial Fellowship, he is also a Sense-Making Fellow with the Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Mr. Rabb is also a member of the executive ensemble of ImprovEdge, an innovative firm that blends improvisational comedy with professional facilitation for corporate and other large-scale clients. As a former stand-up comedian and long-time improvisational performer, this work combines several of his varied skill sets and training for an array of beneficiaries.

Mr. Rabb lives in Philadelphia where he is an active member of the Mt. Airy community. He is an avid genealogist and active father of two young sons.

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