By Vivek Wadhwa, BusinessWeek Online

Editor’s note: Vivek Wadhwa is senior research associate at the Labor & Worklife Program at Harvard Law School and executive in residence at Duke University. He is an entrepreneur who founded two technology companies. The excerpt reprinted with permission. His research

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – When Sue Drakeford became the first African-American to represent Nebraska at the Miss USA Pageant in 2001, she saw a great business opportunity. She would start a production company that would host its own pageants and teach others like her gain the confidence and skills to compete in the real world.

The company would provide an alternative to the "cold-blooded cutthroat world of modeling and beauty pageants" that she endured. So Sue completed her MBA and started her venture—all while working full-time at a regional bank.

Her company, Drakeford Productions, is now two years old and employs seven. It doesn’t produce anything (except beauty queens) and isn’t really innovating under the traditional definition of business innovation espoused at business schools.

Is Drakeford an entrepreneur? Management guru Peter Drucker wouldn’t have called her one. He wrote: "Not every new small business is entrepreneurial or represents entrepreneurship," and more bluntly said: "Entrepreneurs innovate. Innovation is the specific instrument of entrepreneurship."

But Drakeford strongly disagrees. She says: "Yes, I am an entrepreneur. I own my own small business. But more importantly, I constantly think of new ways to make more money".

For the remainder of Vivek’s article,

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