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The history of entrepreneurship is an exciting new area of research that deepens our understanding of the roots of industrialization and economic growth. This book links entrepreneurship to business history, identifying the institutions which encourage entrepreneurship and emphasising the importance of small and big businesses, from the medieval period to modernity.

Covering the period c.1200-c.2000, this book examines entrepreneurship in a long-run historical perspective, investigating the characteristics of successful entrepreneurs and identifying the conditions which encourage entrepreneurship. The multiple case studies, spanning many sectors, highlight the achievements of a range of individuals, including media moguls, female investors and Quaker chocolate manufacturers. The entrepreneurial activities discussed include property speculation, which has been conducted throughout history by medieval monks as well as Victorian master builders.

This book sets out an agenda for future research on the role of entrepreneurship in the development of the modern economy. It explores the impact of entrepreneurship on innovation and growth and displays the trajectory of a culture of creativity.

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