The Hidden Enterprise Culture
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The Hidden Enterprise Culture

Entrepreneurship in the Underground Economy

Colin C. Williams

Portraying how entrepreneurs often start out conducting some or all of their trade on an ‘off-the-books’ basis and how many continue to do so once they become established, this book provides the first detailed account of the vast and ubiquitous hidden enterprise culture existing in the interstices of western economies. Until now, the role of the underground economy in enterprise creation, entrepreneurship and small business development has been largely ignored despite its widespread prevalence and importance.
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Chapter 15: Conclusions

Colin C. Williams


INTRODUCTION At the outset of this book, the following questions were posed. How many enterprises and entrepreneurs start up in business conducting a portion or all of their trade on an off-the-books basis? And how many continue to conduct a portion of their trade in such a manner once they become more established? What should be done about them? Should governments adopt ever more punitive measures to eradicate this form of risk-taking enterprise and entrepreneur from the economic landscape? Should a laissezfaire approach be adopted towards them? Or should these underground entrepreneurs be recognized as a hidden enterprise culture and policies pursued to help them legitimize their business ventures? If so, how might this be achieved? What can be done to help those currently working on an offthe-books basis to move towards formalizing their business operations? And what preventive measures can be taken to ensure that in future, enterprises start up in a legitimate manner? In this concluding chapter, the overall findings are reviewed so as to summarize the arguments. ENTERPRISE CULTURE AND THE UNDERGROUND ECONOMY: THE MISSING LINK Part I of this book highlighted how few have so far identified the relationship between enterprise culture and the underground economy in the western world. In Chapter 2, it was shown how the wealth of literature on entrepreneurship and enterprise culture has only adopted a very partial representation of these concepts by always viewing them through the lens of the legitimate economy. In this literature, there is little, if any,...

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