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Invisible Capital: How Unseen Forces Shape Entrepreneurial Opportunity Paperback – November 2, 2010

4.8 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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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.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Berrett-Koehler Publishers (November 2, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1605093076
  • ISBN-13: 978-1605093079
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #389,659 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
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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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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Format: Paperback
How do you explain the high failure rate for new businesses in the US, land of opportunity and the American Dream? A great concept, hard work and seed money often are not enough to ensure success. So says consultant Chris Rabb, who explains that, in addition to economic capital, entrepreneurs need "invisible capital" to succeed. These unseen assets consist of the accumulated knowledge, experience, networks and personal strengths prospective business owners bring to their ventures. Presenting an original idea like invisible capital is a challenge, and Rabb succeeds at times in explaining it through examples, demographic data and academic studies. But his book suffers from his scatter-shot approach, which veers from sociological text to policy analysis to social critique. While alerting readers that this is not a how-to guide, getAbstract finds that the book provides good insights about the myths and realities of "micropreneurship," along with thought-provoking information on why new businesses fail - and how to make yours succeed.
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I found the book's key point, Invisible Capital, to be very important concept/reality that the entrepreneur needs to understand before heading out on this path. He correctly assess the fact that the level and the breath of entrepreneurial illiteracy is very great and contributes to the perpetuation of this myth by many well intentioned entities. I would recommend any aspiring business person to purchase this book and any engaged parent as well. It is worthy of a dinner table discussion. Having helped many entrepreneurs, I am amazed at how most are convinced that hard work and a good idea are the key to success. In fact, sadly, I haven't seen that great level of success for the college educated entrepreneur over the person with less education. The educated entrepreneur has/had a more consistent stream of cash to finance certain business but they also have a higher level of of lifestyle maintenance. I also recall how Earl Graves of Black Enterprise said that he got his first and only business loan made on a phone call from Robert Kennedy, who he worked with at the time, made to Chase Bank. Invisible capital at work. The same was true for Reginald Lewis. The challenge with this kind of book is that those who need to read it will not. Reminds of a book called, What They Don't Teach You at Harvard Business School.
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