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Biography & Abstract
Nicolai Jepsen

Nicolai is a PhD candidate in the Rethinking Entrepreneurship in Society project at CBS. His research asks how actors within the gig economy mobilize and politicize the semantic field of entrepreneurship to attract gig workers and how this affects the self-narratives and expectations of people engaged in the gig economy.

Entrepreneurialism in the gig economy: Toward a life cycle approach

Research on the gig economy engages entrepreneurship in multiple ways. Gig economy firms are seen as promoting self-employment through task-based work and using entrepreneurialism discourse to attract workers. Despite the prevalence of entrepreneurship in gig economy debates, entrepreneurship scholars have engaged the phenomenon only sporadically. This paper advocates for a systematic review of existing gig economy literature to consolidate fragmented scholarship and advance an entrepreneurship-oriented perspective. Specifically, the review argues for an entrepreneurial life cycle approach, stressing how gig economy companies in the early stages attract members onto their platforms with heavy incentives, then increasingly reduce these incentives and replace them with the ideology of entrepreneurialism, promoting the value of being your own boss and flexible work. Incorporating a life cycle approach into the research agenda enhances practical insights for policymakers and entrepreneurs, while fostering a more cohesive debate of the gig economy in entrepreneurship studies.

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