Explaining the Off-the-Books Enterprise Culture of Ukraine: Reluctant or Willing Entrepreneurship?

International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, Volume 10, no. 2, pp. 165-180, 2010

16 Pages Posted: 5 Jul 2013

See all articles by Colin Williams

Colin Williams

University of Sheffield - School of Management

John Round

University of Birmingham

Peter Rodgers

University of Sheffield

Date Written: 2010

Abstract

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. Reporting face-to-face interviews conducted in Ukraine during 2005-06 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 and as a last resort and survival strategy into entrepreneurship. Revealing how many are willing rather than reluctant entrepreneurs and that even those who initially are reluctant entrepreneurs and doing so 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.

Keywords: entrepreneurship, necessity entrepreneurs, enterprise culture, informal economy, shadow economy, underground sector, tax compliance, Ukraine

JEL Classification: O17, H26

Suggested Citation

Williams, Colin and Round, John and Rodgers, Peter, Explaining the Off-the-Books Enterprise Culture of Ukraine: Reluctant or Willing Entrepreneurship? (2010). International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, Volume 10, no. 2, pp. 165-180, 2010, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2290037 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2290037

Colin Williams (Contact Author)

University of Sheffield - School of Management ( email )

15 Conduit Road
Sheffield, S10 1FL
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/management/staff/williams/index

John Round

University of Birmingham ( email )

Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT
United Kingdom

Peter Rodgers

University of Sheffield ( email )

17 Mappin Street
Sheffield, Sheffield S1 4DT
United Kingdom

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