[ 2 min read ]
Another obvious example of shadowpreneurship. I mean it should be obvious, but isn’t.
As a 6th grader I opened “a shop” and sold various candies and drinks to kids at school directly from my bag (an extra bag I would carry each day to school). Kids quickly learned that they could buy various goods from me. Sometimes they would buy stuff with deferred payment and I kept track of it. It was exciting — my first business!
Not long after however the teachers reported me to the school principal who told me and my parents that one (official, and run by a grownup) shop in school was enough and I should close my “business”. So I had to wind it up. The business venture lasted two, maybe three months.
My “partner” was my mother who helped me “set it up” by providing seed capital (which wasn’t a lot — to say that it started moderately would already be an exaggeration, half a dozen lollypops, chocolate bars and drinks) and would regularly help me with supplies (she would drive me to a store where I would buy the goods using the capital). And it grew organically.
That’s how I made my first money which I could spend freely.
It was an obvious example of shadowpreneurship.
What did I care if it was official? I didn’t even know how to properly set up a business (so that it’s official, that is). I didn’t pay taxes, I didn’t have to keep any records and financial books, I didn’t have to worry that my records and financial operations will be scrutinized by a special authority and that I can be punished for my actions. I didn’t have to worry about anything. Nobody was looking at my hands. Apart from the teachers and the school principal, that is — unfortunately. I didn’t have to make monthly social security payments (contributions to the national social insurance fund), or other payments which small entrepreneurs had to pay back in those days.
I believe that even if someone I had caught me back then (I mean some authority) they would have probably treated me the way they now treat bums. I guess they wouldn’t mind at all. Maybe if someone cool had been at the case he or she would have even admired and praised me for my entrepreneurial spirit. Who knows? I guess it’s possible.
So there is no doubt in my mind that the double standard exists. There is an obvious (although perhaps not easily discernible) inequality in the society, which is not justified in any way. Certain categories of people have certain preferences and the law doesn’t even say a word about it.