Proceedings of the International Association for Business and Society

Volume 25, 2014

Proceedings of the Twenty-Fifth Annual Meeting

Melissa S. Baucus
Pages 260-267

Shortcut to Success: How Ponzi Entrepreneurs Establish & Grow Ventures Quickly

This study examines the business models of highly successful Ponzi entrepreneurs. Results indicate that these entrepreneurs clearly articulate their customer value proposition, profit formula, key resources and processes that support their value proposition. Thus, Ponzi entrepreneurs appear quite adept at applying core entrepreneurship concepts for illegal and unethical purposes. The results highlight the need to broaden the definition of “value creation” so it encompasses legal and ethical behavior in addition to the traditional and somewhat narrow economic use of the term. This study adds to the growing interest in measurement of business models (e.g., Zott et al., 2011) and it will hopefully foster more empirical research of illegal entrepreneurship.