Beginning in August 1993, researchers at Indiana University, Bloomington, Ind., conducted extensive interviews with 250 volunteer leaders who had started their own community initiatives.
The study sought to identify the specific characteristics of people who start volunteer community initiatives and to develop a process to:
Researchers found that community entrepreneurs had four characteristics in common:
Following the study, pilot programs began in three locations (San Jose, Calif., Newark, N.J. and Dallas, Texas) to test whether communities can activate community entrepreneurs. The programs were supported mainly by local philanthropies.