Title: Evaluating entrepreneurs in the shadow economy: economic or social entrepreneurship?

Authors: Colin C. Williams; Sara Nadin

Addresses: Centre for Regional Economic and Enterprise Development (CREED), School of Management, University of Sheffield, 9 Mappin Street, Sheffield S1 4DT, UK ' Centre for Regional Economic and Enterprise Development (CREED), School of Management, University of Sheffield, 9 Mappin Street, Sheffield S1 4DT, UK

Abstract: Recently, a growing stream of literature on entrepreneurship has revealed that many entrepreneurs start-up their enterprises operating wholly or partially off-the-books. This paper evaluates critically the assumption that these shadow entrepreneurs are engaged in for-profit economic entrepreneurship. Reporting a 2005 survey involving interviews with 43 shadow entrepreneurs in North Nottinghamshire in the UK, the finding is that shadow entrepreneurs range from purely rational economic actors pursuing for-profit logics through to purely social entrepreneurs pursuing only social logics, with the majority somewhere in-between. The result is a call for more nuanced understandings of the heterogeneous logics of shadow entrepreneurs.

Keywords: informal economy; shadow economy; underground economy; commercial entrepreneurship; social entrepreneurship; nascent entrepreneurship; enterprise culture; enterprise development; shadow entrepreneurs; off-the-books.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMED.2011.042970

International Journal of Management and Enterprise Development, 2011 Vol.11 No.1, pp.20 - 33

Published online: 10 Oct 2011 *

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