What is it about?

This article evaluates critically the competing explanations for informal sector entrepreneurship that read such endeavours to result from either ‘exclusion’ from state benefits and the circuits of the modern economy or the voluntary ‘exit’ of workers from formal institutions.

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Why is it important?

Reporting evidence from a 2003 survey in urban Brazil, it is revealed that similar proportions of informal sector entrepreneurs explain their participation to result from their involuntary exclusion and voluntary exit from the formal economy. The outcome is a call to shift from an either/or to a both/and approach when explaining informal sector entrepreneurship and for wider research on the relative weightings given to exit and exclusion in different contexts so as to develop a socio-spatially contingent explanation for participation in informal sector entrepreneurship across the globe.


Is informal entrepreneurship a result of voluntary exit or exclusion from the formal economy?

Professor Colin C Williams
University of Sheffield

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This page is a summary of: Theorising Entrepreneurship in the Informal Sector in Urban Brazil: A Product of Exit or Exclusion?, The Journal of Entrepreneurship, August 2015, SAGE Publications, DOI: 10.1177/0971355715586897.
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