Evaluating the Nature of the Relationship between Informal Entrepreneurship and the Formal Economy in Rural Communities

  • Colin C. Williams, Sara Nadin
  • The International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, May 2011, SAGE Publications
  • DOI: 10.5367/ijei.2011.0028

What is it about?

This paper evaluates critically the different theorizations of the nature of the relationship between informal entrepreneurship and the formal economy, which variously depict informal entrepreneurship as a leftover from a previous era, a survival practice for those excluded from the formal economy, and a complement or an alternative to participation in the formal economy.

Why is it important?

Reporting evidence from 350 face-to-face interviews in English rural communities, no single theorization is found to be universally applicable. Instead, all are shown to be valid in relation to different forms of informal entrepreneurship, and only by combining them is it feasible to achieve a finer-grained, more comprehensive explanation of this complex and multifarious phenomenon.


Professor Colin C Williams
University of Sheffield

Evaluates entrepreneurship in the informal sector in rural areas

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The following have contributed to this page: Professor Colin C Williams