Most studies of entrepreneurship look at private entrepreneurs. This article introduces the concept of "public entrepreneurs" and illustrates it with examples from public enterprises in the U.S. and abroad. This article explores the similarities and differences in the personal characteristics of public and private entrepreneurs as well as the public entrepreneur's strategies for getting around well-known barriers to entrepreneurship in the public sector. Many of these methods can be used by the public manager to become more effective in his or her job. Finally, the article raises policy issues about how society can best harness the power of public entrepreneurs.
- © 1986, The Regents of the University of California