Created By: Ardiente on June 14, 2011 Last Edited By: Arivne on March 31, 2015

The Entrepreneur

Like an Intrepid Merchant, except he starts and funds businesses rather than buy and sell goods

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Trope
The Entrepreneur is a character who never refuses The Call For Adventure... in the financial sense. They will seek out and fund the zaniest, most audacious ideas, the ones that terrify more conservative investors, especially bankers. They will have the sense to identify the ideas that can be worth gold, immediately sensing the Potential Applications, and will take risks propotional to the possibly immense gains that may come from them. This character can be heroic as easily as they can be a Corrupt Corporate Executive. The Self-Made Man is typically one of those, and it's a common Eaglelander hat with some basis in reality (it is reputedly much easier to start a company and make it big in the USA than in Europe, where the market is alledgedly more cluttered and more nepotistic).


Examples

Anime and Manga

Comic Books

Film
  • In There Will Be Blood, Daniel Plainvew is an interesting version of this: his lifetime strife to become rich has cost him everything else, including his morality. By the end of the movie, he is as rich as he will ever be, but doesn't even have enemies anymore. He is finished, in more ways than one.

Literature
  • In Discworld, the best[[hottip:*:he can sell you anything, no matter how clearly fake or disgusting, and have you come back for more]] and most industrious salesman on the Disc, Cut-Me-Own-Throat Dibbler, is also the unlickiest: he's such a rutheless Corrupt Corporate Executive it tends to turn against him. Recently, Lord Vetinari, the Patrician of Ankh Morpork, has become this in regards to public institutions, starting and improving them at breakneck speed thanks to a very keen eye for talent and a remarkable sense of the Batman Gambit, The Xanatos Gambit, and the Vetinari Job Security, named after himself.
  • Dagny Taggart and Hank Rearden in Atlas Shrugged. They invent a new, untested metal, build a train line and bridge with it, and ride the first train on the line, though most investors are against the project the entire time. Meanwhile, Dagny is searching for the plans for an experimental generator and spends most of her time trying to find the inventor or paying someone to figure out how to reconstruct it. Ayn Rand seems to be fond of this trope in general: her capitalists are always enterprising, risk-taking, and heroically larger than life, while the masses tend to be more conservative and destructive.
  • In the Childe Cycle, this is a the Hat for Ceta, with William of Ceta being the character who most embodies the trope, to the point of effectively becoming the merchant prince over almost the entire planet.

TV Tropes
  • The ‹bermensch would be this concept applied to moral orders (i.e., ultimately, societies), which are arguably the ultimate business venture.

Community Feedback Replies: 15
  • June 14, 2011
    Ardiente
    bump
  • June 15, 2011
    Ardiente
    bump
  • June 15, 2011
    robybang
    • Dagny Taggart and Hank Rearden in Atlas Shrugged. They invent a new, untested metal, build a train line and bridge with it, and ride the first train on the line, though most investors are against the project the entire time. Meanwhile, Dagny is searching for the plans for an experimental generator and spends most of her time trying to find the inventor or paying someone to figure out how to reconstruct it.
  • June 15, 2011
    jaytee
    Oh man, I really want to call this Adventure Capitalist, but I don't know if it's quite what we want.
  • June 15, 2011
    Ardiente
    I like that name, but I'm not sure either. A capitalist who actually goes on adventures... that's a very Julesverne concept. It could be a subtrope. No, it should be a subtrope, that title's too awesome to waste.

    And I'm sure we could get lots of examples from Jules Verne. How about the guys who built that cannon to the moon?
  • June 15, 2011
    Auxdarastrix
    • In the Childe Cycle, this is a the Hat for Ceta, with William of Ceta being the character who most embodies the trope, to the point of effectively becoming the merchant prince over almost the entire planet.
  • June 16, 2011
    jaytee
    ^^Scrooge Mc Duck definitely falls under Adventure Capitalist if that ends up getting made.
  • June 17, 2011
    Ardiente
    Bump
  • June 17, 2011
    Ardiente
    bump
  • June 17, 2011
    genewitch
    I think this should be if this character doesn't go on adventures but merely funds them it should be Adventure Capitalist. Intrepid goes on adventures, so that's covered. Shark Vendor, maybe?
  • June 23, 2011
    Ardiente
    bump
  • January 7, 2013
    nexser
    I'm glad someone is working on this, i'm lazy at linking entries but i'll try and help with information i've noticed makes up this trope and quite a bit of examples.

    Usually a foreigner/immigrant/outsider looking for new countries, industries or technologies to make or expand his fortune, can also be an inventor or a scientist with business sense. His title is different from the evil CCE, he is not an executive but the Founder of his company. This character can exemplify or subvert the idea that ambition and money are bad things. Can be a self made man or an aristocrat looking to expand his fortune. Some times the schemes he funds are not necessarily for money but for science or a hidden purpose, but he usually finds a way to make money of that too.

    A curious fact about this trope is that the companies that entrepreneurs build in fiction as opposed to impersonal megacorps are named after their founder with the word industries or enterprises next to it.

    This type of characters are usually elegant and sometimes dashing, always eccentric, very intelligent and even more ambitious. They are called a visionaries by admiring peers and a dangerous madmen by detractors. They have an unconventional morality and are used to getting what they want, this can easily make them villains or ubermensch.

    Examples Jonas Venture Sr. from Venture Bros. Adventurer, inventor and captain of industry. Adrian Veidt from Watchmen. He markets his image and uses his broad intelligence to become a businessman and conquer the evils of humanity, funds especially outrageous schemes. William Bel, founder of Massive Dynamic from Fringe. Builds company to overcome the scientific needs of the next century. Francisco D'Anconia was missing from Atlas Shrugged. Significantly expands his families copper empire and then destroys it to "fund" the destruction of the looters. The titular Character from Citizen Kane. Invests his fortune in building media influence, then squanders a part of it it in his second wife's opera career and building a palace. David Xanatos from Gargoyles. Richer than many countries you could name, made his fortune from time travel gambits and funding genetic mad scientists. Most of the Wealthy Superheroes, Iron Man being the foremost but Batman also funds disruptive and risky research. Also some of the wealthy villains like Lex Luthor and Norman Osborne. Peter Weyland from Prometheus. His company builds humanoid robots and funds space archaeology. S.R Haddon from Contact. Funds the search for extraterrestrial life. The Founder of the Rossum Corporation in Dollhouse has a hands on approach to this trope. Hober Mallow from Asimov's Foundation. Inventive space trader and later an influential politician. Rhet Butler from Gone with the Wind. Risks life in blockade runs to build fortune, calls it profiting in civilization destruction. Jay Gatsby from The Great Gatsby. Invests his bootleeging millions in recuperating his high school love. Hugh Darrow, David Sariff and Bob Page from the Deus Ex Series. Darrow builds the augmentation industry and invests his millions to solve global warming, Sariff seeks to bring the next step to human evolution, and Bob Page seeks world domination and to become a god, curiously their companies are each named Darrow Industries, Sariff Industries and Page Industries. The Illusive Man in Mass Effect 2 funds the advancement of humanity through unethical experimental research and profitable business fronts. Barnum in Fable 2 is always trying new inventions and can eventually become the successful developer of a new community, in Fable 3 Reaver becomes a much darker but quite charming industrialist, as king you can indulge some of his more inventive schemes. Eldon Tyrell in Blade Runner builds the Tyrell Corporation to create artificial humans.
  • January 7, 2013
    nexser
    Messed up the examples. srry.

    Jonas Venture Sr. from Venture Bros. Adventurer, inventor and captain of industry.

    Adrian Veidt from Watchmen. He markets his image and uses his broad intelligence to become a businessman and conquer the evils of humanity, funds especially outrageous schemes.

    William Bel, founder of Massive Dynamic from Fringe. Builds company to overcome the scientific needs of the next century.

    Francisco D'Anconia was missing from Atlas Shrugged. Significantly expands his families copper empire and then destroys it to "fund" the destruction of the looters.

    The titular Character from Citizen Kane. Invests his fortune in building media influence, then squanders a part of it it in his second wife's opera career and building a palace.

    David Xanatos from Gargoyles. Richer than many countries you could name, made his fortune from time travel gambits and funding genetic mad scientists.

    Most of the Wealthy Superheroes, Iron Man being the foremost but Batman also funds disruptive and risky research. Also some of the wealthy villains like Lex Luthor and Norman Osborne.

    Peter Weyland from Prometheus. His company builds humanoid robots and funds space archaeology.

    S.R Haddon from Contact. Funds the search for extraterrestrial life.

    The Founder of the Rossum Corporation in Dollhouse has a hands on approach to this trope.

    Hober Mallow from Asimov's Foundation. Inventive space trader and later an influential politician.

    Rhet Butler from Gone with the Wind. Risks life in blockade runs to build fortune, calls it profiting in civilization destruction.

    Jay Gatsby from The Great Gatsby. Invests his bootleeging millions in recuperating his high school love.

    Hugh Darrow, David Sariff and Bob Page from the Deus Ex Series. Darrow builds the augmentation industry and invests his millions to solve global warming, Sariff seeks to bring the next step to human evolution, and Bob Page seeks world domination and to become a god, curiously their companies are each named Darrow Industries, Sariff Industries and Page Industries.

    The Illusive Man in Mass Effect 2 funds the advancement of humanity through unethical experimental research and profitable business fronts.

    Barnum in Fable 2 is always trying new inventions and can eventually become the successful developer of a new community, in Fable 3 Reaver becomes a much darker but quite charming industrialist, as king you can indulge some of his more inventive schemes.

    Eldon Tyrell in Blade Runner builds the Tyrell Corporation to create artificial humans.
  • January 8, 2013
    Arivne
    Italicized and Namespaced the work titles in the OP and put them appropriate sections.
  • March 31, 2015
    DAN004
    Bump, maybe

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