The Entrepreneur as an Agent of Change in the Economy: The Case of James M. Eder in Early Colombia

Moreno Garcia, Alvaro Jose, Business Administration - Darden School of Business, University of Virginia
Fairchild, Gregory B., Darden School of Business, University of Virginia

This dissertation unveils the events that led to the establishment of the first industrial sugar mill in Colombia in 1901. It is a study of entrepreneurial history that tracks the international endeavors the Latvian-born American entrepreneur James M. Eder undertook in the Colombian Cauca River Valley during the second half of the nineteenth century. It shows the process that anteceded and led to the development of the sugar industry in Colombia. Over four chapters, I study the effects of Colombia’s colonial institutions and early independent history on its economic performance (Chapter One); the economic culture of the people who inhabited the Cauca River Valley until the end of the nineteenth century (Chapter Two); the international dealings of James M. Eder during his first years in Colombia (Chapter Three); and the international undertakings during the last years of Eder’s tenure in Colombia (Chapter Four). Taken together, these chapters suggest that acting within particular historical, institutional and geographical contexts, James M. Eder was an agent of change for the economy of the Cauca River Valley. Over forty years, Eder became a pioneer of Colombia’s industrialization, while transforming the Cauca River Valley’s infrastructure, commerce, and trade.

PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
Entrepreneurship, Business History, Nineteenth Century, Colombia, James M. Eder
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