A business person (business man, business woman) is a person involved in the
business sector In economics, the business sector or corporate sector - sometimes popularly called simply "business" - is "the part of the economy made up by company, companies". It is a subset of the Sovereign state, domestic economy, excluding the economic acti ...
– in particular someone undertaking activities (
commercial Commercial may refer to: * a dose of advertising conveyed through media (such as - for example - radio or television) ** Radio advertisement ** Television advertisement * (adjective for:) commerce, a system of voluntary exchange of products and se ...

industrial Industrial may also refer to: Industry * Industrial archaeology, the study of the history of the industry * Industrial engineering, engineering dealing with the optimization of complex industrial processes or systems * Industrial loan company, a f ...
) for the purpose of generating
cash flow A cash flow is a real or virtual movement of money Image:National-Debt-Gillray.jpeg, In a 1786 James Gillray caricature, the plentiful money bags handed to King George III are contrasted with the beggar whose legs and arms were amputated, in ...
sales Sales are activities related to selling or the number of goods sold in a given targeted time period. The delivery of a service for a cost is also considered a sale. The seller, or the provider of the goods or services, completes a sale in r ...

, and
revenue In accounting, revenue is the income or increase in net assets that an entity has from its normal activities (in the case of a business, usually from the sale of product (business) , goods and services to customers). Commercial revenue may also be ...
by utilizing a combination of
human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most abundant and widespread species In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes ...

financial Finance is the study of financial institutions, financial markets and how they operate within the financial system. It is concerned with the creation and management of money Image:National-Debt-Gillray.jpeg, In a 1786 James Gillray caricatu ...
intellectual An intellectual is a person who engages in critical thinking Critical thinking is the analysis of facts to form a judgment. The subject is complex; several different Critical thinking#Definitions, definitions exist, which generally include ...
and physical capital with a view to fueling economic development and Economic growth, growth. The term "businessperson" may refer to a founder, owner, or majority shareholder of a commercial enterprise; or it can characterize a high-level senior management, executive who does the everyday running and management of a company even if that executive is not the owner. The term may sometimes refer to someone who is involved in an upper-level management role in a corporation, company, enterprise, firm, organization, or agency. An entrepreneur is a person who sets up a business or businesses.


Prehistoric period: Traders

Since a "businessman" can mean anyone in industry or commerce, businesspeople have existed as long as industry and commerce have existed. "Commerce" can simply mean "trade", and trade has existed through all of recorded history. The first businesspeople in human history were trader (disambiguation) , traders or merchants.

Medieval period: Rise of the merchant class

Merchants emerged as a class (social) , "class" in medieval Italy (compare, for example, the traditional merchant caste (Vaishya) in Indian society). Between 1300 and 1500, modern accounting, the bill of exchange, and limited liability were invented, and thus the world saw "the first true bankers", who are certainly businesspeople. Around the same time, Europe saw the "emergence of rich merchants." This "rise of the merchant class" came as Europe "needed a middleman" for the first time, and these "burghers" or "bourgeois" were the people who played this role.

Renaissance to Enlightenment: Rise of the capitalist

Europe became the dominant global commercial power in the 16th century, and as Europeans developed new tools for business, new types of "business people" began to use those tools. In this period, Europe developed and used banknote , paper money, cheques, and joint-stock companies (and their shares of stock). Developments in actuarial science led to insurance. Together, these new tools were used by a new kind of businessperson, the capitalist. These people owned or financed businesses as bankers, but they were not merchants of goods. These capitalists were a major force in the Industrial Revolution. The Oxford English Dictionary notes the earliest known use of the word "business-men" in 1798, and of "business-man" in 1803. By 1860 the spelling "businessmen" had emerged.

Modern period: Rise of the manager

The newest kind of businessperson is the manager. One of the first true managers was Robert Owen (1771–1858), an industrialist in Scotland. He studied the "problems of productivity and motivation", and was followed by Frederick Winslow Taylor (1856-1915), who was the first person who studied work. After World War I, management became popular due to the example of Herbert Hoover and the Harvard Business School, which offered MBA, degrees in business administration (management).


Salaries for businesspeople vary. The salaries of the top chief executive officers can be millions of dollars per year. For example, the head of Discovery, Inc., Discovery Inc., David Zaslav, David M. Zaslav, made $156 million in 2014. The high salaries which executives earn have often been a source of criticism from many who believe they are paid excessively.

Business guru

Some leading business theorists look to leaders in academic research on business or to successful business leaders for guidance. Collectively, these people are called "business gurus."

See also

* Business magnate * Entrepreneur * Financier * Investor * Salaryman * White-collar worker


{{Authority control Business occupations Businesspeople, * Entrepreneurship