"And, why is it so
Though we often use the word capital, it is
1. Michael Novak¹ of the American Enterprise
Institute talks about capital extensively.
He tells us that it is a
diminutive of Latin, capit or caput, which is "of the
2. Robert Putnam² of Harvard University says that
social capital expands "...what we know about our levels of trust and community
engagement..." such that one gets involved in "...developing strategies and
efforts to increase this engagement."
McConnell³ of NETA, one of the
fundamental thinkers within the PBS family, was reflecting about one of the PBS
campaigns to encourage the growth of social capital throughout the USA and the
world. He cautioned us all, "Social capital is like scripture. It depends on
who is writing about it and who is reading it. It can mean different things and
sometimes the meanings appear mutually exclusive."
So, even with
Chuck's words of caution, yet in light of the mission of
SmallBusinessSchool to constantly exegete the very nature of creativity
and the creation of value, we believe the very best of small business is
always about the creation of social capital.
becomes quickly apparent by studying just a few of the episodes of the show and
by following the hyperlinks to that episode's case study guide, transcript, and
SmallBusinessSchool working premise about social capital is
a statement about value creation. They epitomize Robert Putnam's work; small
business owners do not go "bowling alone." The best are civic-minded and
So we have selected
a cross-section of small business owners who personify Social
so many ways, all real small business owners
have social capital. Typical is the Murstein family (Andy pictured on the
right). Their purpose is to empower people with both fiscal capital and social
capital and they do it in many communities throughout the USA.
We invite your
questions or comments. -
1. Michael Novak, twice the U.S. Ambassador to the UN Human
Rights Commission, affirms that fundamentally
business is not about greed.
The best of small business is about the creation of social capital; and the
best small business owners imbibe
2. Robert Putnam, author of Bowling Alone and The
Prosperous Community is a Harvard University scholar. He has
on-going work about social capital that is
The Saguaro Seminar.
3. Chuck McConnell, a certified PBS-mensch, has been a critical
thinker and leader within the PBS-family almost since its inception. He works
through the national association for all public television stations,