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Babson Author Susan Foley Helps Wellesley Chamber Identify Entrepreneurs


Susan Foley, Executive Director, Research Centers at Babson Executive Education; and author, Entrepreneurs Inside:  Accelerating Business Growth with Corporate Entrepreneurs, shared some sound advice this morning about how to find and cultivate entrepreneurial talent within businesses.

The event was the Babson College/Wellesley Bank Business Series at the Wellesley Chamber's Networking Before 9 breakfast held here at Babson.

Using the research from her new book, Foley was able to explore for the first time, the dynamic between business growth and hiring/keeping entrepreneurial talent.  Who are the engines of growth within your business; and if they're not there, how do you find them?

“One of the easiest ways for small business owners to recognize the entrepreneur within, is to reminisce on your beginnings….how did you do it? Remember that you are a role model for your employees,” said Foley, “Half of all senior executives will retire in the next six years;   and middle management is being squeezed, leaving a ten -year gap for good knowledge talent.”

Foley said there are three Ps for success in business growth—people, process, place.  Most business owners can control People and the enterprise competencies People bring to the organization.

Foley's research show s that Inside Entrepreneurs:

-Thrive in an environment of change and challenge.
-Prefer freedom to create on their own.
-Deal proactively with the unknown.
-Take calculated risks.
-Are passionate about what they are doing.
-Regularly blaze new trails.
-Turn ideas into profitable businesses.
-Seek out opportunities for growth.

“Entrepreneurs are energized and motivated when challenged,” said Foley, “Like 'coloring' outside the line. But they will leave the culture and people who resist change.”

According to Foley, even though they are independent thinkers who frequently question authority, Inside Entrepreneurs are actually good employees.  “They are more loyal to the project than the company, but provide the right corporate climate and they will thrive,” she said.

Are you a corporate entrepreneur?  Take a quick survey to find out. You may be eligible to participate in a benchmarking study.  Go to to take the survey and learn more about Entrepreneurs Inside.