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non-routine entrepreneur

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not in it for the money

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Chepurenko, A. (2019). ‘non-routine entrepreneurs’: another path of realizing entrepreneurial intentions. Administrative Sciences, 9(2), 38.


out of the box


everyday entrepreneur

About the Recipe


When we think of entrepreneurs, we typically envision individuals who create and run their own businesses, driven by dreams of financial success. But a new breed of entrepreneur is emerging - one less interested in the day-to-day operations and more focused on the thrill of exploring opportunities. These are the "non-routine entrepreneurs."


The Rise of the "Non-Routine" Entrepreneur

Chepurenko's research, based on case studies of Russian entrepreneurs, sheds light on the motivations and strategies of these non-routine players. The two highlighted cases - dubbed the "patriot" and the "big tipster" - illustrate how personal circumstances and social context shape this entrepreneurial path.

The "patriot" was driven by a desire to revive "Russian glory" through innovative ventures. The "big tipster" was an academic who thrived on generating business ideas and connecting partners, but avoided management responsibilities. Both leveraged their expertise and networks to launch projects, but remained detached from the nitty-gritty of running the resulting businesses.

Several key factors enable the non-routine approach. First is the possession of substantial human and social capital - the knowledge and connections to inspire and facilitate entrepreneurial ventures. Second is a turbulent, transitional environment that creates space for unconventional players.

Notably, the non-routine entrepreneurs frequently combined their venture activities with traditional employment or freelance work. This hybrid approach provided stability and autonomy while still allowing for entrepreneurial exploration.

The cases also reveal that motivations can evolve over time. The "patriot" began with a need to support his family, but later focused on advancing a nationalistic mission. The "big tipster" was drawn to the creativity and challenge of launching businesses, seeing profit as a secondary concern.

So what can we learn from the rise of the non-routine entrepreneur? For starters, it challenges our assumptions about what drives entrepreneurial behavior. The classic profit-seeking model doesn't capture the full picture. There's a subset of entrepreneurs more focused on the process than the prize.

This has implications for how we define and measure entrepreneurial success. Traditional metrics like revenue and job creation don't account for the value created by non-routine players as they generate ideas, connect resources and inspire others. We may need new yardsticks to assess their impact.

The non-routine trend also reflects the changing nature of careers. In an era of uncertainty and rapid change, more people are craving opportunities to exercise their entrepreneurial muscles without sacrificing stability. Organizations that provide space for intrapreneurial ventures may be better positioned to attract and retain innovative talent.

As we look to the future, the non-routine entrepreneur seems poised to become a fixture of the business landscape. These hybrid players blur the lines between employee, entrepreneur and freelancer. They prioritize the pursuit of possibility over strict financial gain. And in a world that demands constant innovation, their willingness to chase new opportunities may prove invaluable. The entrepreneurial journey is being reimagined - and the non-routine are leading the way.

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