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Sterling Silver

A slim first issue in 1977 sparked the fire. An entrepreneurial revolution fanned the flame. And 25 years later, we're still lighting your way.

Looking back at the soaring late '90s business climate, it's easy to feel a bit nostalgic. The view from the ground when you get off the roller coaster is never as thrilling as the view from the top. But survey entrepreneurship from a wider perspective, like 25 years, and what we see now is easier on the eyes.

In 1977, small businesses were poised at the bottom of that roller coaster, with changes like the personal computer, increased access to venture capital, and the option to finance start-ups with credit cards about to propel them to new heights. We at Entrepreneur feel fortunate to have been in the trenches of this entrepreneurial revolution over the past 25 years, and in the following pages, we examine a quarter-century of technology, money, management and marketing. But more important, we look ahead at the next 25 years, because what really matters is not where we've been, but where we're going.

·Technology: First it leveled the playing field. Where's it headed now?
·Money: Capital was scarce 25 years ago. Here's its state today.
·Management: Trends are multiplying fast. What will stand the test of time?
·Marketing: Technology and personalization will rule this arena.
·Franchising: Get ready . . . the golden age of franchising is upon us.

25 Years of Entrepreneur: A timeline of the forces that have shaped entrepreneurship through the years

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This article was originally published in the May 2002 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Sterling Silver.

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