A Civilization advance.
As companies began to grow, their need for large amounts of working capital increased exponentially. In the West, corporations of stockholders--wealthy investors who bought a "piece" of the company--provided these huge capital investments. With a larger resource base, growth begot consolidation, as newly formed corporations grew stronger by buying smaller companies and resources.
Prerequisites: Industrialization.
Allows for: Genetic Engineering, Refining, and Mass Production.