In the modern digital age, entrepreneurship is even more accessible than it was just a few years ago. This is partly due to the availability of home computers, laptops, and mobile devices. All that’s needed to start one’s own business is one of those devices, an internet connection, and a website. However, even as people use those resources to start their own enterprises, the path to entrepreneurship continues to evolve.
It Started With a Barter System
Looking back into the past, it’s easy to see how entrepreneurship began by looking at our earliest commerce systems. First, people developed a trade or learned to create products through apprenticeships. Then, as they mastered their crafts, they developed products and services that could be traded for another’s products or services. Eventually, this led early merchants to bring their products to neighboring villages or other communities.
Shipping and Colonialism
As early society learned how to build better ships, people worldwide began exploring the oceans and fishing for profit. This led to the development of trading companies along these fishing routes, with the most famous of them being the Dutch East India Company. However, investors found this arrangement less profitable than they had hoped and pulled out of these opportunities. This left the trading companies to fend for themselves, forcing each trading post’s owner into an entrepreneurial situation.
Heading Into the Modern Day
The Industrial Revolution brought about massive discoveries that completely transformed the 18th and 19th centuries. The invention of electricity, communicative equipment, mass production, and other innovations helped the entrepreneurial spirit thrive throughout these centuries. The 20th and 21st centuries brought about more innovations that helped entrepreneurs succeed. The internet gave everyone easy access to a global marketplace, while mobile devices have given every entrepreneur instant access to consumers. This is why advertising represents more than 45% of the gross income earned in the United States. That number is expected to rise as more entrepreneurs make use of print, television, radio, and online advertising to reach more consumers throughout the world.
Entrepreneurship will continue to change as the available resources improve and people make use of new tech innovations. There will likely be a stronger emphasis on building strong consumer relationships and customizing service in different ways. Whatever the future brings, plenty of new entrepreneurs will be eager to take advantage of the wealth of opportunities that will emerge.