Production is undertaken by firms, also known as enterprises, or businesses. There are three stages of production:
1. Primary production, which involves the extraction of resources from the earth, such as agriculture, fishing, and mining. Land and natural resources are the main resources used in primary production.
2. Secondary, which involves the manufacture of semi-finished and finished consumer goods, such as computers, motor vehicles, and clothing. Labour and capital are the main resources used in the secondary sector.
3. Tertiary production involves the distribution of products and the creation of services, such as road haulage, financial services, and healthcare. Human capital is usually the most essential resource used in tertiary production. The tertiary sector is sometimes sub-divided into tertiary, quaternary and quinary sectors. The quarternary sector of an economy includes the infrastructure of information technology and knowledge that enables an economy to produce successfully. The quinary sector is defined at the not-for-profit aspect of the economic, political and social infrastructure which supports economic activitiy, including universities, charities and government activity. Sophisticated quaternary and quinary sectors are commonly viewed as essential to economic development in a globalised economy.