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  • «Если ты маленький, ты никому не нужен»: молодые креативные предприниматели Санкт-Петербурга и их отношения с государством

Article

«Если ты маленький, ты никому не нужен»: молодые креативные предприниматели Санкт-Петербурга и их отношения с государством

Крупец Я. Н., Майборода А. В., Кузинер Е. Н.

The article discusses the experience of interaction of young creative entrepreneurs of St. Petersburg with the state and controlling authorities, their expectations from the state as a participant of economic relations. Experts analyzing creative industries in Russia point out the need to strengthen government support for this sector and introduce special government programs for young entrepreneurs, which will include instruments to create a comfortable environment: grant competitions, favorable rental conditions, educational courses/platforms for entrepreneurs. However, the analysis of 58 qualitative interviews with craft entrepreneurs developing their business in St. Petersburg in 2018-2019 showed that young entrepreneurs seek, on the contrary, to preserve their autonomy and maximize the distance between their craft business and the state. The topic of formality/informality in a young entrepreneur's relationship with the state is revealed through the intersection of several axes of coordinates: "visibility - invisibility", "closeness - distance", "written - unwritten rules" and are dynamic in changing of positions (for example, from invisible to visible and back) and degree of youth agency (to what extent these relations turn out to be voluntary or forced). Young entrepreneurs rationalize their aspiration to remain "invisible" to the state with two argumentations: small size and "not serious" of their business as well as an absence of "reciprocity" from the state. Avoiding direct and regular contact with the state fits into two different scenarios: (i) the "bureaucratic incompetence" scenario and (ii) the "autonomous economic agent" scenario. Communication skills become a key "capital" that helps entrepreneurs survive and develop their business under a combination of formal and informal rules. While striving for independence and distance from the state, as well as critical attitudes towards the work of state authorities, the interview emphasizes the significant role of the state in creating formal economic institutions (rules of the game) and the readiness of young entrepreneurs to play by formal rules.