Reinventing Entrepreneurship in the Top 30?

We wrote earlier about the Columbia, Missouri based company AdVentures, which with well over 6,000% growth placed an impressive 28th place on the inc500 list. It seems the State of Missouri wants to be part of the enormous growth and have awarded the company $1.5 million in low-interest loans. These loans are expected to provide Columbia with at least 15 new jobs in the near future, a welcome addition to the slow job market.

While AdVentures can likely find more productive use for this money than the State of Missouri, it is doubtful whether this can qualify as an entrepreneurial act from State Treasurer Clint Zweifel given existing entrepreneurship theory. Then what is it? Recent developments in entrepreneurial research focusing the public sector (almost) exclusively focus under the term “political entrepreneurship” on either intra-government entrepreneurship or public-private cooperation in terms of rent-seeking (see e.g. here and here).

But in this case AdVentures have not actively pursued favors from government, an anonymous source explains. Rather, it seems the state government has realized that there is real and sustainable growth going on in the city of Columbia, and they wish to support it. In other words, is it rent-seeking in reverse? This appears to be a new type of  activity that is new to the theoretical literature. What do we call this type of government ex post sponsorship of successful enterprise? Is public entrepreneurship an appropriate term?

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