Are there statistics out there that compare entrepreneurship from the 1700’s, 1800’s, 1900’s and current times? I have tried looking this information up and have not been able to find the population percentages for each time frame. I think to gain a historical perspective on entrepreneurship would be beneficial in knowing the direction of businesses both pre and post industrial age as well as pre and post information age.
After all, Benjamin Franklin could not have been the great statesman and leader he was without being an entrepreneur first. There are many historical figures in the same situation and looking at history can help us understand the decline in society today. It is in my opinion due to the decrease in entrepreneurs. Unless the statistics prove me wrong, might be a cool article if nothing else.
Have you tried searching the US Census Bureau? They have population stats going back to the 1790s, accessible here:
I’m not sure if there are accurate business-related/entrepreneurship stats going back that far, but I think the Census Bureau would include a breakdown by sector (e.g. percentage of population in agriculture vs. manufacturing sectors).
Hope that’s helpful.
Managing Editor, Fit Small Business
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