A scientist, a writer, an inventor, and a diplomat, Benjamin Franklin was also a brilliant business strategist and, arguably, America’s first entrepreneur. Franklin’s first business venture was a printing company in Philadelphia. Despite his youth, he was incredibly diligent and this led to the success of his printing business, even garnering contracts from the government.
In 1729, at the age of 20, Franklin had such a good reputation as a businessman that he managed to gather enough investors to acquire The Pennsylvania Gazette, a local newspaper. His contribution to the Gazette was not limited to making executive decisions; he also contributed various articles under different pen names. Ben Franklin’s skill as an inventor also influenced his career in business: in 1742, six years before he retired from business, he invented the Franklin Stove, which effectively radiated heat from the center of the room.