What is it about?

In recent years, there has been a growing realisation that beyond the realm of legitimate entrepreneurship is a large, hidden enterprise culture composed of entrepreneurs conducting some or all of their trade off-the-books. Until now, however, few have evaluated how many entrepreneurs start-up their ventures trading off-the-books and why they do so.

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Why is it important?

Reporting face-to-face interviews conducted in Ukraine during 2005–2006 with 331 entrepreneurs, the finding is not only that the vast majority (90%) operate partially or wholly off-the-books, but also that they are not all driven by necessity, as a last resort and as a survival strategy into entrepreneurship. Revealing how many are willing rather than reluctant entrepreneurs; and that even those who were initially reluctant and ventured into it out of necessity, became more willing entrepreneurs over time as their business became established – the paper concludes by discussing the implications of these findings for both further research and public policy.


Explains entrepreneurship in the informal economy in Ukraine

Professor Colin C Williams
University of Sheffield

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This page is a summary of: Explaining the off-the-books enterprise culture of Ukraine: reluctant or willing entrepreneurship?, International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, January 2010, Inderscience Publishers, DOI: 10.1504/ijesb.2010.033107.
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