Close this search box.

Table of Contents



Capital refers to the financial resources used by businesses, organizations, or individuals to invest, fund operations, and achieve their goals. It can be in the form of cash, assets, or other tangible resources. In an economic context, capital is essential as it enables businesses to grow, create jobs, and contribute to the overall economy.


The phonetic spelling of the keyword “Capital” using the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) is /ˈkæpɪtəl/.

Key Takeaways

  1. Capital refers to the financial resources or assets owned by a business or individual, which can be used for investment, growth, and expansion.
  2. There are different types of capital, such as financial capital, physical capital, and human capital, each with unique qualities and importance in developing a successful business or economy.
  3. Capital accumulation is crucial for economic growth and development, as it enables businesses and individuals to invest in ventures, create jobs, and generate wealth.


Capital is a crucial term in business and finance as it represents the financial resources or accumulated wealth that individuals, companies, or governments use to invest, expand, and generate income or economic value. As a primary driver of growth and development, capital can take various forms, including physical assets (like machinery or real estate), human capital (skills, knowledge, and expertise), and financial capital (cash or securities). Its efficient allocation is vital for encouraging innovation, increasing productivity, and enhancing competitiveness. Capital can be crucial in creating job opportunities, promoting economic stability, maximizing shareholder value, and ultimately contributing to a higher standard of living.


Capital serves a crucial purpose in the world of finance and business, as it provides the necessary resources for companies, entrepreneurs, and investors to create value, grow, and expand their operations. In its core, capital refers to any financial assets or resources that can be utilized to generate wealth by fueling production, development, or investment activities. This can include tangible assets such as machinery, equipment, and real estate, or intangible ones like intellectual property or human capital. By injecting capital into a business, stakeholders aim to kickstart or enhance income-generating processes and secure long-term profitability. The effective management and allocation of capital are among the most critical tasks for any business entity. Whether it’s reinvesting profits, raising funds from investors, or securing loans from financial institutions, the ultimate goal is to ensure that the acquired capital gets allocated efficiently and optimally to unlock the highest potential returns. This is accomplished by investing in various projects, products, or services that align with the company’s strategic growth plan. Moreover, capital is also necessary for businesses to maintain a healthy cash flow, cover short-term liabilities, and ensure operational continuity. As capital can influence various facets of a company’s performance, it plays an indispensable role in shaping its competitive edge and fostering sustainable success.


1. Investing in Real Estate: One common real-world example of capital involves investing in real estate. An individual or a company can purchase a property, such as a house or a commercial building, with the intention of generating income through rent or by reselling it at a higher value. The property, in this case, represents a form of capital that is expected to generate returns over time. 2. Starting a Business: Entrepreneurs often require capital to start or grow their businesses. For example, a small business owner might seek capital in the form of a bank loan, venture capital, or private investment to fund their operations, such as purchasing inventory, equipment, and marketing initiatives. The business owner will then use these capital investments to generate revenue and hopefully achieve a return on investment (ROI). 3. Purchasing Equipment and Machinery: In the manufacturing industry, companies invest in capital by acquiring machinery and equipment to produce their products more efficiently and effectively. These investments are made with the expectation that improved production capabilities will lead to increased revenues and overall business growth. The equipment and machinery, in this case, represent capital that is intended to generate revenue and profit over time.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is capital in finance and business terms?
Capital refers to the financial assets, such as cash and physical assets, used to generate income and run the overall operations of a business, make investments, or grow and expand the business.
What are the different types of capital?
There are several types of capital, including:1. Financial capital – money and other liquid assets.2. Physical capital – tangible assets, such as machinery, equipment, and buildings.3. Intellectual capital – intangible assets, such as patents, trademarks, and copyrights.4. Human capital – the knowledge, skills, and expertise of a company’s employees.5. Social capital – the relationships and networks a business maintains to foster collaboration, innovation, and growth.
How do businesses acquire capital?
Businesses can acquire capital through several means, including:1. Equity financing – Selling shares of the company’s stock to investors.2. Debt financing – Borrowing money through loans, bonds, or credit lines.3. Venture capital – Investment from venture capital firms or angel investors.4. Retained earnings – Profits that are reinvested into the business.
What is the importance of capital in a business?
Capital is crucial for a business because it allows the organization to operate, grow, and invest in future opportunities. It enables businesses to acquire necessary assets, hire employees, cover expenses, and maintain overall financial stability.
How can a business effectively manage its capital?
Effective capital management involves careful planning, forecasting, and decision-making to ensure that a business uses its resources efficiently to promote growth and profitability. Key practices include optimizing working capital, budgeting and cost control, risk management, and assessing the return on investment (ROI) for projects and investments.
What is working capital?
Working capital refers to the difference between a company’s current assets, such as cash, accounts receivable, and inventory, and its current liabilities, such as accounts payable and short-term debts. It is a measure of a company’s short-term liquidity and is integral to its daily operations, as it provides the necessary funds to cover short-term expenses and obligations.

Related Finance Terms

Sources for More Information

About Our Editorial Process

At Due, we are dedicated to providing simple money and retirement advice that can make a big impact in your life. Our team closely follows market shifts and deeply understands how to build REAL wealth. All of our articles undergo thorough editing and review by financial experts, ensuring you get reliable and credible money advice.

We partner with leading publications, such as Nasdaq, The Globe and Mail, Entrepreneur, and more, to provide insights on retirement, current markets, and more.

We also host a financial glossary of over 7000 money/investing terms to help you learn more about how to take control of your finances.

View our editorial process

About Our Journalists

Our journalists are not just trusted, certified financial advisers. They are experienced and leading influencers in the financial realm, trusted by millions to provide advice about money. We handpick the best of the best, so you get advice from real experts. Our goal is to educate and inform, NOT to be a ‘stock-picker’ or ‘market-caller.’ 

Why listen to what we have to say?

While Due does not know how to predict the market in the short-term, our team of experts DOES know how you can make smart financial decisions to plan for retirement in the long-term.

View our expert review board

About Due

Due makes it easier to retire on your terms. We give you a realistic view on exactly where you’re at financially so when you retire you know how much money you’ll get each month. Get started today.

Due Fact-Checking Standards and Processes

To ensure we’re putting out the highest content standards, we sought out the help of certified financial experts and accredited individuals to verify our advice. We also rely on them for the most up to date information and data to make sure our in-depth research has the facts right, for today… Not yesterday. Our financial expert review board allows our readers to not only trust the information they are reading but to act on it as well. Most of our authors are CFP (Certified Financial Planners) or CRPC (Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor) certified and all have college degrees. Learn more about annuities, retirement advice and take the correct steps towards financial freedom and knowing exactly where you stand today. Learn everything about our top-notch financial expert reviews below… Learn More