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Economic Progress and Entrepreneurial Innovation: Case Studies from Memphis

Abstract: Entrepreneurial innovation encourages economic progress, and an institutional climate that encourages risk taking, rewards success, and weeds out failure is essential to a well-functioning economic system. This essay explores a cluster of path-breaking entrepreneurial innovations with common roots in Memphis, Tennessee: Piggly Wiggly’s popularization of self-serve grocery shopping, Holiday Inn’s innovations in standards and quality, Autozone’s adaption of insights from other industries, and FedEx’s creation of a distribution network that has made overnight shipping a reality.

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