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Harnessing Enterprise and Entrepreneurship in the Underground Economy

Author: COLIN C. WILLIAMS
Published in IJED, Vol. 6 No. 2

The starting point of this paper is a recognition that the current deterrence approach towards underground work fails to recognize either the potential asset that enterprise and entrepreneurship in the underground economy represents in western economies or the desire of governments to transfer this work into the formal economy rather than simply eradicate it. Responding to this emerging understanding of such
underground enterprise and entrepreneurship as an asset, as well as recognizing the desire of governments to formalize such endeavor, the aim of this paper is to propose a more enabling approach towards the underground economy that supplements the current push (deterrence) initiatives with measures to pull this endeavor into the formal economy. A variety of pull (enabling) initiatives that might be used by this emergent approach to transfer underground enterprise and entrepreneurship into the formal economy are then set out.

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