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Different types of informal entrepreneurs in fragile ‘transitional’ contexts: case based evidence in Russia

P. 1-29.

The paper deals with the specifics of informal entrepreneurial activity in fragile postsocialist environment of Russia. Based on related literature it develops an original typology of entrepreneurs combining the level of informal entrepreneurial activity and motivation. The paper offers an in-depth look into the strategies of local entrepreneurs doing business merely formally vs. informally, and into the performance of their firms before and during the economic crisis in Russia. Empirical enquiry is based on three cases in a longitudinal panel survey conducted by the authors in 2013-2015 in Moscow, on one ‘marginal’, one ‘simpleton’ and one prospective ‘star’ entrepreneurs. The more informally and less growth oriented is a business established at the grassroots level, without using any connection with authorities, the more sustainable and secure is its development. Conversely, those bottom-up entrepreneurs who try to establish a transparent business are facing substantial administrative and fiscal problems. Finally, some evidence and political recommendations are formulated.