Since the mid-18th century, the entrepreneur has been represented as the engine of economic growth. Subsequently, economists and social scientists have sought to encapsulate the characteristics and the function of entrepreneurship, mainly by linking it to the ability to innovate. From Cantillon to Schumpeter up to contemporary thinkers, this book traces the evolution of the entrepreneur... as well as his alter ego, the manager, who moves to centre stage with the rise corporations in the 20th century. The spread of information and communication technologies has re-emphasised the issue of entrepreneurship, especially as regards the timely topic of «platform capitalism» championed by personalities such as Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk.
Giuseppe Berta teaches Contemporary History at the Bocconi University in Milan and conducts research and consults for businesses and associations.