Virginia was first settled by a group of Englishmen under the command of famed English explorer Sir Walter Raleigh. In 1584, Raleigh oversaw the settling of two groups of men, women and children on Roanoke Island, but a war between Spain and England prevented his revisiting the colony for almost three years. When he returned, the colony had disappeared.
The successful colonization of Virginia began as a business venture by one of the first true corporate entities in English history; the Virginia Company. James I decided to pass the responsibility for colonization to private enterprising groups. It was the Virginia Company that inherited this responsibility. This partnership of English businessmen decided that a colony in the New World would be a great investment opportunity and sent two ships full of men to establish a colony, hoping it would be able to capitalize on the mineral wealth that was reported in the area.
After arriving in the area of the James river and exploring the area for weeks, the colony of Jamestown was officially founded in May of 1607.