Entrepreneurship as a factor of social transformations: historical experience of 19th – early 20th centuries


Author investigates the role of entrepreneurship in stimulating social transformations in Ukrainian region based on the historical and economic generalization of the national economic practice in 19th – early 20th centuries. The link between the growth trends in the number of enterprises and change in the social structure of Ukrainian population is analyzed. This link is manifested in the deployment of large-scale factory production, which promotes the formation of the free labor market and singling out the groups of workers and merchants. The peculiarities of the impact of business sector on urban population growth and the development of urban infrastructure are disclosed.

The role of business in providing the technological modernization and concentration of production, which resulted in a saturation of the domestic market with goods and food is justified. The importance of entrepreneurship is determined in stimulating the Ukrainian population’s employment.

At the same time, the problems of strengthening the workers’ material dependence, preservation of archaic forms of business communication and the lack of effective social dialogue have been detected. The attention is stressed on the formation features of the patronage and social responsibility as the means of business sector participation in stimulating social development. It is revealed that the main forms of business’ charity were the investments in the construction of religious, medical and cultural facilities and financial support for research and education. However, it is determined that the patronage was often carried out in order to obtain some benefits, and the charitable activity was implemented against ruthless exploitation of the working masses. At the same time, it is determined that in the 19th – early 20th centuries on Ukrainian territory the stratum has appeared of socially conscious entrepreneurs with respectful and fair treatment to factory workers as well as with a comprehensive approach to the implementation of various social programs.

It is proved that the ambiguity of the effects of business for social development was caused by the lack of effective partnership between business and the state, preservation of the traditions of personal and material dependence, expansion of the domestic manufacturing sector by foreign business element.

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