The French word “entrepreneur” was first used in 1850, and the concept of “entrepreneurship” was coined around 1920 by a group of Austrian economists, prominent among whom was Joseph Schumpeter. Entrepreneurial activity, however, began with the Industrial Revolution which brought about the transition between manual to machine production.
Most entrepreneurs used inventions with a view to increasing productivity, automate and scale manufacturing to reduce costs of production. The use of an expanded credit system helped them acquire capital for large scale ventures which were considered risky. Commerce and industry was transformed by entrepreneurs in the 19th century.
The evolution of entrepreneurship originated with merchants taking over the world market. Explorations, discoveries, and inventions became easier and this made the market expand. In the industrial age, the big businesses got centralised in certain locations. Inventors played a crucial role in promoting entrepreneurial progress since the early days of the Industrial Revolution.
Media, in the form of radio, film, and television, furthered the expansion of the markets, creating new industries around the world in the 20th century. It was during the 1980s that the Information Age came upon us, and revolutionised the way business was done. Newspapers and magazines, besides the telephone and television, were the key instruments of entrepreneurs who could now be identified as any individual who had a business of their own.
Entrepreneurship, slowly but steadily, took on an increasingly digital character. In the last decade, with the availability of a highly advanced Internet, buying and selling has branched into numerous and varied platforms. Digital technology, which is still being developed and innovated, is continuing to simplify the use of digital media. The entry of the smartphone, for instance, has made business and communication very simple.
Today, what we mean by digital entrepreneurship, has come to encapsulate the creation of new ventures and the transformation of existing businesses by coming up with new digital technologies and new kinds of usage of these technologies. Digital entrepreneurship has been recognised as crucial for economic growth, and in generating jobs. A country's digital entrepreneurial capacity depends mainly on digital entrepreneurial culture and strategies that are supported by educational, governmental, and non-governmental institutions.
Digital technologies are proliferating rapidly with new functions that are transforming existing business structures, processes, and strategies. In the networked economy of the Digital Age, plenty of large organisations are actually shrinking. Organisations with only a single member are also on the rise. Social media, mobile and cloud solutions technologies and Big Data are changing how people collaborate, design products and services, leverage resources, and deploy standards and technologies.
Almost any individual with any means at their disposal can now start their own business and enter the arena of entrepreneurship. If you too dream of becoming a modern day entrepreneur
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