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Benjamin Franklin…America’s first Enrepreneur?

August 28, 2007

by Andrew Snow

Benjamin Franklin has always been, in my mind, one of the key figures in our modern society and our modern form of government. I hold him in high esteem, even though I carry his image on my rear-end all day long in my walet. I have read several auto-biographies, The Art of Virtue and Ben Franklin’s 12 Rules of Managment, he lists 12 specific things as to what defines an Entrpreneur.

1.   The entrepreneur is the person who assumes the risk associated with uncertainty.
               2.   The entrepreneur is a supplier of financial capital.
3.      The entrepreneur is an innovator.
4.      The entrepreneur is a decision maker.
5.      The entrepreneur is an industrial leader.
6.      The entrepreneur is a manager or superintendent.
7.      The entrepreneur is an organizer or coordinator of economic resources.
8.      The entrepreneur is a proprietor of an enterprise.
9.      The entrepreneur is an employer of factors of production.
10.  The entrepreneur is a contractor.
11.  The entrepreneur is an arbitrageur.

12. The entrepreneur is the person who allocates resources to alternative uses.

I thought that these examples were thought provoking and found out what specific items that Benjamin Franklin discussed over 200 years ago and are still implemented to this day in Entrepreneurism.

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One comment

  1. Ben Franklin was definitely a great entrepreneur. Whether or not he was America’s first entrepreneur is debatable since Christopher Columbus and even the pilgrims showed a great deal of entrepreneurism before Franklin’s time.

    But, my main point isn’t to argue who was the first or greatest American entrepreneur. What I think this post really points to is that America could be considered the “Land of Entrepreneurism.”

    First, anyone who ever immigrated to America showed enough of the qualities of an entrepreneur to leave behind the old world for a new opportunity. Talk about taking a risk!

    I think this same spirit still lives on in American’s today. The attitudes and entrepreneurism that brought our ancestors to America has been passed on and it continues to drive us today.

    I think it would be a very interesting demographic study to see which parts of the world have the highest entrepreneurial tendencies and then look back at their history to see if there is any correlation. Utah and California have a high rate of entrepreneurism… could that also be tied to their history?

    –John



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