Purpose: The paper seeks to examine the influence of the Austrian School of Economics and its views of innovations and entrepreneurship on one of their champions, Joseph Schumpeter. Schumpeter's insights on innovation and entrepreneurship issues are discussed and compared to previous literature. Design/methodology/approach: The paper is conceptual in nature, highlighting that the key process in economic change is the introduction of innovations; the central innovator is that of the entrepreneur. Findings: Insights gained from Schumpeter include the following: in the context of increasing global competition, the importance of innovations by entrepreneurs is becoming more important. The challenge though is for firms to find and make use of these individual for their survival. Another link is the distrust of the government and the ability of the free market to function, though imperfectly, without interference. Originality/value: The paper suggests that innovation and entrepreneurship are the essence of the capitalist society. Entrepreneurs contribute to society as a whole by introducing new products/services that often are contradictory to institutional norms.