Social enterprise in Antebellum America: the case of Nashoba (1824-1829)

  • Patrick J. Murphy, Jack Smothers, Milorad M. Novicevic, John H. Humphreys, Foster B. Roberts, Artem Kornetskyy
  • Journal of Management History, January 2018, Emerald
  • DOI: 10.1108/jmh-06-2017-0032

A 19th century female-led social enterprise.

Photo by Sandra van Rooij on Unsplash

Photo by Sandra van Rooij on Unsplash

What is it about?

In the 1820s, Scottish immigrant Frances Wright launched and led an organization that fits today's definitions of social enterprise.

Why is it important?

The concept of one business model generating more than one type of value is an old one, and this historic case gives uniquely powerful insights into social enterprise performance.


Dr. Patrick James Murphy
University of Alabama at Birmingham

This paper was selected as the best paper published in 2018 in the Journal of Management History. I love history research as well as social enterprise research, and this study gave me a chance to do both. It was a four-year project. We named one of our Siamese cats after the venture in the study: Nashoba, the Choctaw word for "wolf."

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The following have contributed to this page: John Humphreys and Dr. Patrick James Murphy

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