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Title: Businessperson  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Milliyet Sports Awards, Aaron Hart (businessman), César Alierta, Othman Benjelloun, Marc Bolland
Collection: Business and Financial Operations Occupations, Businesspeople, Entrepreneurship
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Marissa Mayer, the current president and CEO of Yahoo!, is a businessperson, ranked the 16th most-powerful businesswoman in the world in 2014 by Fortune magazine.[1]

A businessperson (businessman) is someone who works in business. The term can refer to the owner of a business, an executive at a business,[2] or a lower-level manager at a business.[3] At its most general, a businessperson is anyone engaged in commerce or industry.[4]


  • History 1
    • Prehistoric Business: Traders 1.1
    • Medieval Period: Rise of the Merchant Class 1.2
    • Renaissance to Enlightenment: Rise of the Capitalist 1.3
    • Modern History: Rise of the Manager 1.4
  • Qualifications 2
  • Salary 3
  • Business guru 4
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7


Prehistoric Business: Traders

Since a "businessperson" can mean anyone in industry or commerce,[5] 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 were traders, or merchants.

Medieval Period: Rise of the Merchant Class

Merchants emerged as a "class (social)" in medieval Italy. Between 1300-1500, modern accounting, the bill of exchange, and limited liability were invented, and thus the world saw "the first true bankers," who are certainly businesspeople.[6]

Around the same time, Europe saw the "emergence of rich merchants."[7] 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.[8]

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 businesspeople began to use those tools. In this period, Europe developed and used paper money, checks, and joint-stock companies (and their shares of stock).[9] Developments in actuarial science led to insurance.[10] Together, these new tools were used by a new kind of businessman, 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.

Modern History: 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.[11] He studied the "problems of productivity and motivation," and was followed by Frederick Winslow Taylor, who was the first person who studied work.[12] After World War I, management became popular due to the example of Herbert Hoover and the Harvard Business School, which offered degrees in business administration (management).[13]


Qualifications needed to be a businessperson vary by the type of businessperson. Many business occupations in the United States require a bachelor's degree.[14] Even top executive positions do not typically require a master's degree.[15] Some famous executives, such as Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg, did not complete their bachelor's degree.


Salaries for businesspeople vary.[16][17] The salaries of the top CEOs can be millions of dollars per year. For example, Discovery Communications' head, David M. Zaslav, made $156 million in 2014.[18] Many people think that executives are paid too much. [19]

Business guru

Some leading business theorists believe that managing a business is like a science. These people look to leaders in academic research on business or to successful business leaders for guidance. Collectively, these people are called "business gurus."

See also


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External links

  • The dictionary definition of businessperson at Wiktionary
  • The dictionary definition of businesswoman at Wiktionary
  • The dictionary definition of businessman at Wiktionary
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