Entrepreneurs in Mesopotamia - College of Business and Economics

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Entrepreneurs in Mesopotamia
Lesson Learning Targets:
1. I can define entrepreneur.
2. I can compare expected benefits with expected costs of
new businesses.
3. I can identify whether an entrepreneur is earning a profit
or suffering a loss, given simple production cost and selling
price data.
4. I can explain that entrepreneurs earn profits when the
price they sell their product for exceeds the costs of
producing that product.
Building Background Knowledge
• Do you know anyone who started their own
business?
• Why do you think that person started his or her
own business?
• When do you think people first began opening
their own businesses?
• Let’s add to our knowledge base by reading!
“Entrepreneurship in Ancient Mesopotamia”- 5.1
• What is an entrepreneur? Who are some
entrepreneurs in the modern world?
• Why did entrepreneurship develop in
Babylon’s temples?
• What risks did rent farmers take on when they
chose to become entrepreneurs?
• Why did rent farmers choose to rent the land
from the temple despite the risks?
• What did other entrepreneurs in Babylon do?
• What was the social position of entrepreneurs
in Babylon?
“Entrepreneurship in Ancient Mesopotamia”
• What is an entrepreneur?
Someone who starts businesses, taking on the risk of
organizing productive resources to produce goods and
resources
• Who are some entrepreneurs in the modern
world?
Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Jeff Bezos, Henry Ford
• Why did entrepreneurship develop in Babylon’s
temples?
Temples had a lot of land and did not have enough
people to work the land.
• What risks did rent farmers take on when they chose to
become entrepreneurs?
 They had to invent some of their own money to buy equipment
to farm the land they rented.
 If crops failed, they might not have enough money to pay rent to
the temple and cover the costs of the equipment they had
purchased.
• Why did rent farmers choose to rent the land from the
temple despite the risks?
 They expected to make money.
• What did other entrepreneurs in Babylon do?
 Some specialized in provide transportation and marketing
 Some produced and sold food products and textiles.
• What was the social position of entrepreneurs in Babylon?
 They were respected members of the community.
Entrepreneurs…
•
•
•
•
•
•
are willing to take risks
develop new products and start new businesses
recognize opportunities
like working for themselves
accept challenges
are innovative
 Attempt to solve problems by creating new or improved
products or ways of doing things
• In ancient Babylon entrepreneurs created new ways of:
 trading, farming and producing goods and services
 these developments improved the lives of people who
lived in Babylon and beyond
Entrepreneurs…
• compare the expected benefits to the expected costs
 If the benefits appear to outweigh the costs = start the business
 If benefits may not exceed the costs = don’t start the business
•
are risk-takers, if profitable
Profit= income entrepreneurs receive in exchange for
their skills and risk-taking
Profit= total revenues - total costs of business
•
How do entrepreneurs profit?
When products are sold for more than they took to make
•
How do entrepreneurs lose money?
When buyers do not purchase products at prices high enough
to cover costs of production
Entrepreneurs of Babylon Simulation
• 6 equalish groups
• Each group = Textile Production Business
• Each group will create a textile design and
produce one sample unit
– On a piece of paper
– To distribute to each group
• Your supplies and tools
Plan carefully before beginning work on sample!
Accounting for Supplies Used 5.2
• Textile Production Worksheet= preview
• Shekel= ancient measure of weight for gold
and silver
• Any Questions?
Remember the following…
• What is an entrepreneur’s goal?
– To earn a profit
• What is the amount each group expects to earn
when it sells each unit?
– 45 shekels
• What is the amount below which each group
must keep its costs of production per unit?
– At or below 44 shekels
Let’s Get to Work!
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
Plan textile design
Pick up resources to complete sample
Complete costs table on 5.2
Answer questions 1 – 3 on Activity 5.2
Prepare to share the following:
Show textile sample
Share calculation of total cost to produce each
unit
Profits and Losses by Group
GROUP
Selling
Cost per
Price per
Textile Unit
Textile Unit
Profit or
Loss?
Amount of
Profit or
Loss per
Textile Unit
Group 1
Group 2
Group 3
Group 4
Group 5
Group 6
FOCUS MIDDLE SCHOOL WORLD HISTORY © COUNCIL FOR ECONOMIC EDUCATION, NEW YORK,
NY
Let’s Do Some Calculating
Assume the following:
 each group produces multiple units to sell across
the Babylonian Empire.
 each unit was produced for exactly the amount
each group calculated
In reality, this would be decided by consumers’
demand for the textile and willingness to sell at
different prices
 Each group will draw a “Textile Price Card” to
determine the price each item will sell for
Textile Profit Worksheet 5.4
Directions:
Calculate per unit profit and loss
Share out:
Cost of production
Selling price
Profit or loss
Profits and Losses by Group
GROUP
Selling
Cost per
Price per
Textile Unit
Textile Unit
Profit or
Loss?
Amount of
Profit or
Loss per
Textile Unit
Group 1
Group 2
19
35
P
16
15
47
P
32
Group 3
Group 4
Group 5
17
33
P
16
18
45
P
27
20
50
p
30
Group 6
FOCUS MIDDLE SCHOOL WORLD HISTORY © COUNCIL FOR ECONOMIC EDUCATION, NEW YORK,
NY
Let’s Use Our Noggins
 How many groups earned a per-unit profit?
 Why did those groups earn a per-unit profit?
 How many groups suffered a per-unit loss?
 Why did some groups suffer a per-unit loss?
 How many groups earned smaller profits than
expected?
 How many groups earned larger profits than expected?
 Why did those groups earn larger profits than
expected?
Knowing What You Know Now…
How would you have done things differently?
How often do you think real entrepreneurs
misjudge how much their product will sell for?
If entrepreneurs could see into the future,
would they start business ventures even if
they would suffer a loss?
Let’s Review What We Have Learned
• Who are entrepreneurs?
 Risk-takers who draw upon their skills and
initiative to launch new businesses with the aim
of making a profit
• What two things would a smart entrepreneur be sure to
compare when deciding whether to start a business?
Expected costs and expected benefits
• If the expected benefits of a business exceed expected costs
of the business, what is an entrepreneur likely to do?
Start or invest in the business
• Why do entrepreneurs accept risks in organizing productive
resources to produce goods and services?
 They expect to earn a profit.
• When do entrepreneurs earn profits?
 When buyers purchase their products or services at prices
higher than the entrepreneur’s costs of production.
• When do entrepreneurs suffer losses?
 When buyers purchase their products or services at prices
lower than the entrepreneur’s costs of production.
• What do we mean wen we say entrepreneurs are innovative?
 They attempt to solve problems by developing and
marketing new or improved products and services.

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