Volume 25, 2014
Proceedings of the Twenty-Fifth Annual Meeting
Melissa S. Baucus
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.