A term rarely used in the commercial world of today, but more common in books on economic history. The changes brought about by the industrial revolution. particularly the economic theory that defended its laissezfaire image, required fresh words for the new economic roles that participants in the industrial struggles played. Economic theory accepted the two major factors of production as capital and labour but, as these two factors needed to be brought together and harmonized, a third factor was conceived, i.e. enterprise. This was supplied by the individual who thought up a project and risked his own savings in trying to organize the other two factors into making it succeed. He was given the title of entrepreneur. Theoretically, whilst capital and labour were guaranteed their due reward, the entrepreneur took the gamble of either losing his all or becoming rich beyond the dreams of avarice.
Reference: The Penguin Business Dictionary, 3rd edt.