Entrepreneurs Operating in the Informal Economy: Necessity or Opportunity Driven?
Journal of Small Business and Entrepreneurship, 2007, Vol. 20, No. 3, pp. 309-320
Posted: 24 Dec 2015
Date Written: 2007
To evaluate the validity of distinguishing between opportunity and necessity entrepreneurship, this paper investigates the motives of entrepreneurs who conduct some or all of their transactions on an off-the-books basis. Reporting empirical evidence from England on the motives of such entrepreneurs, this paper reveals not only that necessity is by no means their predominant motive, with a similar ratio of necessity-to-opportunity entrepreneurship being identified as amongst legitimate entrepreneurs, but also that squeezing individuals into one side or the other of this dichotomy over-simplifies the motives for entrepreneurship in the informal economy. The outcome is a call for the necessity/opportunity dualism to be transcended and replaced by a richer and more textured understanding of the diverse and complex motives underpinning participation in both this hidden enterprise culture as well as mainstream entrepreneurship more generally.
Keywords: entrepreneurship, enterprise culture, social entrepreneurship, informal economy, shadow economy, underground sector, capitalism, England
JEL Classification: H26, J46, K42, O17
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation