An Autoethnographic Account of Prosaic Entrepreneurship

Craig Engstrom


In recent years, entrepreneurship scholars have begun studying entrepreneurship from social, prosaic, narrative, and discursive dimensions. These “new movement” approaches privilege both business and non-business perspectives. Research in this domain of inquiry seeks to account for the everyday and mundane practices of social actors that can be characterized as entrepreneurial; therefore, prosaic approaches can de-center the narrative of entrepreneurship as comprised solely of a group of elite entrepreneurs. While researchers are encouraged to describe entrepreneurship from a life-story perspective, few scholars have used a self-narrative approach to writing about entrepreneurship. In this article, I use autoethnography to provide a personal account of entrepreneurship. I reflexively interrogate the ways in which I have reproduced, disrupted, benefited from, and been hindered by the dominant enterprise discourses in the United States. A prosaic approach using self-narrative, as demonstrated, is already engaged in a process of re-storying entrepreneurship scholarship because it takes into account, among other things, the details of everyday entrepreneurial activity and is receptive to heterodox accounts (even stories that end in entrepreneurial failure).


Prosaic entrepreneurship; Autoethnography; Self-narrative; Introspective analysis; Identity

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