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The history of entrepreneurship: Medieval origins of a modern phenomenon

Casson, M. and Casson, C. (2014) The history of entrepreneurship: Medieval origins of a modern phenomenon. Business History, 56 (8). pp. 1223-1242. ISSN 1743-7938

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1080/00076791.2013.867330


The origins of enterprise are often associated with the Industrial Revolution, but this article presents evidence of entrepreneurial activities from a much earlier date – the medieval period. Between 1250 and 1500 the church, merchants and members of the royal court all engaged in activities that demonstrated the entrepreneurial characteristics of innovation, risk-taking and judgement. The activities of the prior of Tynemouth and the career of the wool merchant William de la Pole illustrate these developments. By focusing on individuals rather than firms, it is possible to push back the study of entrepreneurship beyond the Industrial Revolution and early-modern trade to a period that witnessed the origins of the modern state.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Politics, Economics and International Relations > Economics
ID Code:36728
Uncontrolled Keywords:entrepreneurship, enterprise, innovation, medieval business, networks
Publisher:Taylor & Francis

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