Entrepreneurial Potential in the Digital Freelance Economy: Evidence from the Russian-Language Internet
Drawing on a unique dataset of 9685 Internet freelancers, we shed light on the entrepreneurial potential of the Russian-language online labour market, where more than half of freelancers exhibit entrepreneurial orientations. Our findings reveal heterogeneity of Internet freelancers in relation to entrepreneurship documenting strong differences amongst groups of actual entrepreneurs, potential entrepreneurs and non-entrepreneurs in terms of socio-demographics, professional characteristics, work behaviour and wellbeing. The fact that by most indicators potential entrepreneurs who plan to start a business typically take an intermediate position between non-entrepreneurs and actual entrepreneurs signals the feasibility of entrepreneurial intentions. Researching the entrepreneurial potential of Internet freelancers contributes to better understanding of how solo self-employment may give rise to new businesses in knowledge-intensive and creative industries which are crucial for modernising transition economies.