History of Entrepreneurship in the Philippines

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Ralph Deiparine
BS Entrep 3

History of Entrepreneurship in the Philippines

Entrepreneurship in general started during the dawn of civilization, when one artisan trades one of his crafts for another item during the age of barter system or trades his craft for gold coins when coinage replaced the barter system. This system went unchanged up until the Middle Ages, when banking was considered another form of entrepreneurship, wherein bankers would lend kings and clergymen funds for their projects. But the term entrepreneur became first used during the 16th century, denoting that an entrepreneur is a person who undertakes a business venture.

The term was refined during the 17th and 18th centuries, when the industrial revolution was gaining speed in developed countries and in their colonies. Even in the Philippines, then a colony of Spain, the business atmosphere is taking shape. With the Manila-Acapulco trade system, many businessmen were becoming successful. But mainly it was a one-sided affair, wherein only Filipinos of Spanish descent can have opportunities. San Miguel Brewery can trace back its history to Spanish-Filipino entrepreneurs Enrico Barretto and Pablo Roxas who were granted royal grants by Spain. Bank of the Philippine Islands and Meralco can also be traced back to its start as royal grants by Spain.

That changed during the American occupation. Americans were espousing many freedoms, including free enterprise. During the pre-war years, many companies, mainly with American help, came into fruition. Companies like PLDT, Globe Telecom, Squires Bingham & Co., and the franchising of Coca-Cola helped many entrepreneurs and also helped the shaping-up of the economy during those times. Even during times of war and the Japanese occupation, many entrepreneurs risked their investments just to make money and make their lives comparatively secure. Examples of these are theatre and music club owners and restaurateurs, who previously tended to Americans,...
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