About This Collection

Howard Stevenson
Sarofin-Rock Baker Foundation
Professor, Emeritus, Harvard Business School

In 2001, under the leadership of Howard Stevenson, Sarofim-Rock Baker Foundation Professor, Emeritus, Harvard Business School initiated an oral history project to capture the stories of some of the most significant entrepreneurs of the time. Conducted over two years, the interviews illustrate many distinctive paths to successful entrepreneurship and the parallel experiences and challenges individuals may encounter.

Professor Stevenson was uniquely positioned to lead this effort. Often called “the godfather of entrepreneurship studies at HBS,” he developed the definition of “entrepreneurship” that is used for study at HBS to this day: “entrepreneurship is the pursuit of opportunity beyond resources controlled.” The Sarofim-Rock Chair was established in 1982 to provide a continuing base for research and teaching in entrepreneurship; Professor Stevenson was its first incumbent. 

The goal of this oral history project was to ensure that the stories of a generation of formative figures in the history of entrepreneurship were captured so that current and future seekers of such opportunity could learn from them. From 2001 to 2003, Amy Blitz, HBS Director of Media Development for Entrepreneurial Management, conducted the interviews with twenty-four path-breaking figures from a variety of industries including finance, technology, construction and venture capital. This collection of interviews is an important, enduring contribution to the study and understanding of entrepreneurship.

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