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In the first section of this paper, therefore, the ways in which entrepreneurship has been conventionally depicted in the literature will be reviewed so as to display how the wholesome, clean and pure narratives of entrepreneurship that dominate the literature have written out off-the-books entrepreneurs from their portrayals followed in the second section by a review of what is known about the relationship between entrepreneurship and off-the-books endeavor.
Before commencing, however, it is necessary to define what is here meant by off-the-books work or what has been variously called "informal employment," the "underground economy," "shadow work" and "hidden sector" to name but a few of the nouns and adjectives employed.
Unlike the off-the-books economy where there is a strong consensus regarding what it is, entrepreneurship has proven far harder to pin down.
Viewed in this manner, it quickly becomes apparent why off-the-books entrepreneurs have been written out of mainstream entrepreneurship.
To achieve this, I here focus upon unraveling the nature of entrepreneurship in Ukraine so as to bring to the fore how many entrepreneurs engage in off-the-books transactions in their daily practices in order to challenge the notion that these are super-heroic figures.
Here, I wish to further contribute to this tarnishing of the entrepreneur by taking as a starting point the "old adage that if you scratch an entrepreneur you will find a 'spiv'" (Burns, 2001: 4) and studying whether entrepreneurs engage in off-the-books transactions.
A recent survey of business opinion on the extent and impacts of off-the-books work identified that this constitutes a large segment of the UK economy.
Based on telephone interviews with 7,505 small businesses, the finding was that one in seven (14 per cent) are negatively affected by off-the-books traders and nearly one in 15 (6.
As the table overleaf shows, there were also significant regional variations in the degree to which off-the-books was seen to be prevalent, with business in peripheral rural regions (for example East Wales, the Highlands and Islands) among those claiming to be most affected.
It is also acknowledged that support and advice about how they might resolve their situation is generally not widely available at present to small businesses conducting some or all of their transactions off-the-books.
awareness-raising and information campaigns--focused on the risks and costs of cash-in-hand work, and the benefits of formal work, targeted at the customers and suppliers of off-the-books work, either of a general nature and/or targeted at specific sectors where cash-in-hand work predominates; this could be conducted in partnership with, for instance, various private sector trade associations.
Many small businesses were very reluctant to openly declare themselves as trading off-the-books and agree a regularisation plan with the agency (generally seen by businesses as a dangerous form of self-incrimination), but vast numbers did regularise indirectly by deciding to 'go legit' but outside the scheme.