Digital entrepreneurs are usually presented as young, urban, well-educated individuals working for innovative start-ups. In sharp contrast with this “hipster” view, this research identifies digital subsistence entrepreneurs as a new type of entrepreneurs that recently appeared in developed countries. To do so, it investigates Facebook buy-and-sell groups members’ activities using a multi-method approach involving in-depth interviews, netnography, and participatory observation. The findings indicate that digital subsistence entrepreneurs’ activities pertain to survival entrepreneurship rather than transformative entrepreneurship. Nonetheless, they satisfy more than purely financial needs, also providing hedonic (spending time with family, creating), relational (meeting new people) and symbolic benefits (raising self-esteem, redefining roles at home and in society). This research also shows that subsistence entrepreneurs’ rebirth in developed countries is founded on the structural, cognitive and relational forms of social capital that are grounded in peer-to-peer platforms digital features. It thus offers interesting contributions and implications for public policy makers engaged in the regulation of the sharing economy.
Pour citer cet article : Delacroix E., Parguel B. et Benoît-Moreau F. (forthcoming), Digital subsistence entrepreneurs on Facebook”, Technological Forecasting & Social Change