Stories of Small Business Ventures

One of the most striking aspects of entrepreneurial literature is that so much of it is comprised of stories. One finds only a limited amount of basic research, partly because so much of what we do is a seat-of-your pants, discover-as-you-go-along venture. There is no right path for any individual in any venture. Instead, entrepreneurism is more a culture where stories are handed down, passing on wisdom from generation to generation. And these stories can serve as a guideposts as well as being an inspiration.

Entrepreneurs have been breaking new ground for many centuries. From the earliest inventors and explorers entrepreneurs have been seeking new paths and new solutions for the world of business. Early entrepreneurism was espoused as early as by Horace in ancient Rome and was certainly practiced by the Italian traders in late medieval Italy. The real rise of the commercial entrepreneur began, however, with the industrial revolution.

In America the first entrepreneur to use industrialized manufacturing was Samuel Slater, a British mechanic, who opened the first cotton-spinning mill in 1790. In a sense, since then, entrepreneurism has been the hallmark of American business. It is hard to name a business in the United States today that was not founded as an entrepreneurial venture. Many of these business' histories are an inspiration - and highlight the incredible odds that individuals have overcome to become the businesses that exist today.

Here are a few stories from our contemporaries about how they have gone about starting and making a success of their businesses:

Business Incubation as a Profit Making Venture
An interview with an entrepreneur that successfully runs a profit-making business incubator.

Changing the Game in Auto Repairs
The entrepreneurial story of JoeAuto and its quest to revolutionize the auto repair business with online service.

A Junk Idea!
Brian Scudmore has made a name for himself in, of all things, junk. He shares the inside story of his success with us in this fascinating feature on his business, 1-800-GOTJUNK?

Planning as a Business
Tim Berry, President of Palo Alto Software, shares his thoughts about the "hurdles" of planning and running a planning business.

Robotic Entrepreneurs
Entrepreneurial sports exploits with robots.

If you have a story you would like to add to our archive, feel free to contact the editor. Sharing your story is a great way to let the rest of the world know more about your business.