Creating Entrepreneurial Supply Chain: A guide for Innovation and Growth


By William B. Lee, Ph.D.


The most obvious form of entrepreneurship is that of starting a new business; however, in recent years, the term has been extended to include other forms of entrepreneurial activity. Corporate entrepreneurship is the process by which teams within an established company conceive, foster, launch, and manage a new business that is distinct from the parent company but leverages the parent’s assets, market position, capabilities, or other resources. A new, but similar form of entrepreneurial activity is the entrepreneurial supply chain. A supply chain connects customers with suppliers. An entrepreneurial supply chain is an innovative portion of that connection. The entrepreneurial supply chain usually consists of a new venture that is developed out of new and innovative ideas. The venture is responsible for resources, takes on risks, and is accountable for the payoffs.


Most organizations view their supply chains merely as cost centers, not recognizing the fact that supply chains are well positioned to be the entrepreneurial drivers of the company. Entrepreneurial supply chains can look for innovation and revenue opportunities wherever they may be found: upstream on the supply side, downstream on the demand side, or with competitors in the middle. This book focuses on unexplored opportunities for growth and innovation through entrepreneurial supply chains. It shows how entrepreneurial supply chains can enhance the value of a business regardless of its form. Creating Entrepreneurial Supply Chains: A Guide for Innovation and Growth takes the reader through the entire process of opportunity identification, due diligence, writing the business plan, managing risks, integrating the entrepreneurial supply chain venture, and reaping the payoff.


Key Features

  • Shows how leading companies such as Cisco, 3M, CEMEX, Corning, SYSCO, and several others have developed entrepreneurial supply chains, as well as the value each company gained from them
  • Discusses how the SCOR® model provides a framework for identifying entrepreneurial supply chain opportunities, plus how and where needs and opportunities are likely to appear including how to recognize them
  • Uses a single entrepreneurial supply chain case throughout to show how one company employed the ideas, concepts, tools, and techniques covered in each chapter, and includes additional business case summaries at the end of each chapter to enhance understanding of the concepts and to provide opportunity for further study and reflection
  • Covers various practical and legal forms of entrepreneurial relationships, including alliances, consortia, dealers, joint ventures, and partnerships, and explains the different ways these can be used
  • Employs appendices to illustrate how to develop an entrepreneurial supply chain vision, show a sample business plan, and demonstrate how education and training programs can be developed


Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Introduction to Supply Chains and Entrepreneurship
Chapter 2: Why “Entrepreneurial” Supply Chains
Chapter 3: Using Customers and Suppliers as Sources of Ideas and Opportunities
Chapter 4: How We Know We Have Opportunities
Chapter 5: Managing the Risks of Entrepreneurial Supply Chains
Chapter 6: Due Diligence and the Business Plan
Chapter 7: Implementing Entrepreneurial Supply Chains
Chapter 8: Reaping the Payoff
Appendix A: Visioning Entrepreneurial Supply Chains
Appendix B: Sample Business Plan for an Entrepreneurial Supply Chain Opportunity
Appendix C: Sample Education and Training Programs for Entrepreneurial Supply Chains
Appendix D: Glossary of Entrepreneurial Supply Chain Terms