By 1600, the Spanish were becoming wealthy from their activities in the New World. The English wanted to partake in the success. The English King did not have the money to risk on colonization, and the other English notables were unwilling to risk their money either. In stepped an English invention that would revolutionize business worldwide-- the Joint Stock company. The Joint Stock Company is a company that sells shares to different investors to raise money for its operations. Thus, a significant sum of money could be raised with the risk spread among many investors. This is very similar to the public companies that exist today. Two companies were established: the Virginia Company of Plymouth and the Virginia Company of London.
The Companies received charters from King James I to establish colonies. The Virginia Company of London was given rights to settle between the current day North Carolina and the Potomac. According to the charter given, the settlers would have the same rights as other English citizens. .