What is it about?

The aim of this paper is to contest the ideologically driven depiction of the entrepreneur as a heroic icon of capitalist culture. To do this, a 2006 survey involving face-to-face interviews with 331 entrepreneurs in Ukraine is reported.

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Why is it important?

This displays that the vast majority do not conform to the depiction of the entrepreneur as a heroic icon of capitalism; just 8% of the Ukrainian entrepreneurs surveyed are engaged purely in profit-driven entrepreneurship in the legitimate economy. The vast majority of entrepreneurs either do not pursue purely profit-driven goals and adopt social motives to varying degrees, and/or operate wholly or partially beyond the legitimate economy. In doing so, this study reveals that entrepreneurship and the enterprise culture can no longer be taken as signifying the transition to a capitalist economy in this post-Soviet space. Instead, its multiple forms are here argued to open up entrepreneurship to re-signification as demonstrative of the feasibility of alternative economic futures in post-Soviet spaces beyond an immutable and inevitable legitimate profit-driven capitalist economy.


Contests the popular view of entrepreneurs as heroic icons of capitalist culture

Professor Colin C Williams
University of Sheffield

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This page is a summary of: Beyond the Entrepreneur as a Heroic Icon of Capitalist Culture: Some Lessons from Ukraine, Debatte Journal of Contemporary Central and Eastern Europe, April 2013, Taylor & Francis, DOI: 10.1080/0965156x.2013.830041.
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