The entrepreneurial state

Fascinating book. Review from the economist.

Economists have long recognised that the state has a role in promoting innovation. It can correct market failures by investing directly in public goods such as research, or by using the tax system to nudge businesses towards doing so. But Ms Mazzucato argues that the entrepreneurial state does far more than just make up for the private sector’s shortcomings: through the big bets it makes on new technologies, such as aircraft or the internet, it creates and shapes the markets of the future. At its best the state is nothing less than the ultimate Schumpeterian innovator—generating the gales of creative destruction that provide strong tailwinds for private firms like Apple

In the sphere of social innovation there is a definite need for the government to support innovation. At the fundamental level solutions to social challenges are public goods.

It does not have to be delivered by the government but has to be funded.

The one thing I would say is that funding basic research is not totally entrepreneurial in my view. It is about finding the need of the customer, understanding the job to be done. Once we understand the value then the job of creating value is never easy,  requiring experimentation and innovation.

All of this is quite entrepreneurial and requires the basic research but more than that.

However fundamentally I see great value in the idea of the entrepreneurial state.

How do we promote that in the social innovation space?

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