Cambridge AS A Level Business Studies/ ZIMSEC Advanced Level Business Studies/ Business Enterprise Skills Notes: Private and Public Sectors

  • We have already defined business as an activity that takes place when someone ( or a group of individuals) work together in an organised way to achieve a certain purpose
  • In that discussion, we hinted on the factor that there are many types of businesses
  • Consider the following examples of businesses:
    • A vegetable vendor
    • A small family-owned retail business
    • A mine
    • A computer manufacturing factory
    • A non-profit working to advance the rights of women etc
    • A government-owned power utility
  • All these are examples of businesses however even at a cursory glance we can tell that there are not the same
  • Businesses can be divided into various categories (sectors) based on a variety of criteria
  • One such criterion is when businesses are divided based on whether they are public sector or private sector businesses
  • A sector is simply a collection/subdivision/group of items ( in this case businesses) that share certain characteristics
  • Public sector businesses –refers to businesses that are owned and controlled by the federal, supranational, national,state, municipal, rural or local government on behalf of the public
    • Usually, these businesses (or organisations as they are more frequently called) are not for profit and are meant to provide an essential desirable service such as electrical power or refuse collection
  • Private sector businesses– are all the businesses owned by private individuals or groups of private individuals. They are normally operated on a for-profit basis i.e. they exist to make a profit
  • NB-The lines are not so clear cut as events in the world have led to the creation of what are known as social enterprises these are entities that are owned by private individuals but are not for profit e.g. the example of the charity above

To access more topics go to the Advanced Level Business Studies page

To access more topics go to the ZIMSEC Business Enterprise and Skills page

To access more topics go to the Cambridge AS A Level Business Studies page