The Responsible Entrepreneur
Carol Sanford
Jossey-Bass, July 2014

Responsible entrepreneurs are a special breed, seeking to transform industries and even society itself. They challenge and refine cultural assumptions, laws, regulations, and even the processes of governance. This requires them to do and think far beyond what is usually required of business leaders.

The Responsible Entrepreneur offers a blueprint for this new kind of business leadership, describing the means by which any entrepreneur can pursue a higher order of work. In it, Carol Sanford, one of the most trusted names in responsible business development, brings her vast expertise in helping executives and corporations to the entrepreneur looking to launch and scale a venture. She maps this journey through four archetypes:

  • The Realizing Entrepreneur: Industry Game-Changer
  • The Reconnection Entrepreneur: Society Game-Changer
  • The Reciprocity Entrepreneur: Culture Game-Changer
  • The Regenerative Entrepreneur: Governance Game-Changer

By understanding the archetype most aligned with their goals, entrepreneurs will learn how to grow their business into a powerful platform that can leverage change, and even change the foundations that create our most pressing problems and issues. To illustrate these principles in action, The Responsible Entrepreneur features case studies based on long-term work and in-depth interviews with Google Innovation Labs, Indigenous Designs (the primary supplier for Eileen Fisher), FishPeople (who supply Costco and Google with gourmet seafood entrees), and many more.

For entrepreneurs seeking to pursue world-changing results, or impact investors looking to align their capital with their values, The Responsible Entrepreneur provides the frameworks to build a business and to evaluate and direct investments to create the greatest benefit for all stakeholders.

For anyone who wants to make a difference in the way businesses affect the world, The Responsible Entrepreneur lays out ways to make that aspiration focused and doable.

About the Author

Carol Sanford believes that we all want to create a better world, and that business can and will play a major role in accomplishing that.

To that end, Carol has been leading major consulting change efforts in both Fortune 500 and new-economy businesses for more than 35 years. Her client list includes long-term relationships with Colgate Europe and Africa and DuPont Canada, US, Asia and Europe. She also works with new-economy companies like Intel, Agilent and leaders of corporate responsibility such as Seventh Generation. Google uses her Responsible Business framework in an Innovation Lab.

Carol is CEO of Carol Sanford Institute, a consultative education company on building Regenerative Businesses that become non-displaceable in their markets, enduringly. The Carol Sanford Institute is based in the Seattle region of the Puget Sound.

She combines her economic development experience with her extensive business education and background using consultative education and learning practices.

Carol has published dozens of works in 10 languages, including a series of articles in Executive Excellence, Stephen Covey’s newsletter and At Work, a Berrett-Koehler Journal.

She holds undergraduate degrees from UC Berkeley in Economics and Public Law and graduate degree from California State University, San Jose in Urban Planning. She currently lives in Seattle.