Personal Is Professional: Ethic of Young Craft Entrepreneurs in St. Petersburg




youth, ethics, eco-practices, craft, entrepreneurs, eco-discourse


The article aims at identifying and describing the elements of professional ethics of young ethical craft entrepreneurs. The study focuses on the specifics of small craft business and the leading role of its owner and emphasizes the importance of the prosumerist position of young entrepreneurs. Additionally, the authors consider the features of creative entrepreneurship as a lifestyle.

Empirically, the authors base on the results of two studies. The first study analyzes three cases of ethical crafters from St. Petersburg: a coffee shop owner, an art designer, and a linen clothing designer. The second study examines the rhetorical grounds of ecological discourse analyzing messages in telegram channels. The authors show that the owner’s personality becomes the determining factor among craft entrepreneurs. Critical attitude towards overconsumption leads young entrepreneurs to the idea that being ethical means being eco-oriented. The focus primarily on income does not allow the informants' business to be classified as social entrepreneurship. The informants do not describe their projects as eco-oriented either, while at the same time, the social aspect of their business activity and the inclusion of eco-friendly practices in their projects are perceived as important. Informants problematize consumption through the rhetoric of unreasonableness, loss, and “giving rights” to things.

The authors identify three elements of professional ethics of young eco-oriented craft entrepreneurs — openness to interact with other entrepreneurs, the implementation of social activities, and the creation of a community around the business project. As ethical craft entrepreneurship is emerging, its hallmark is openness — both for interaction and for inclusion in different discourses.

Author Biographies

Elvira M. Arif, HSE University, Saint Petersburg

  • HSE University, Saint Petersburg, Russia
    • Research Fellow, Center for Youth Studies

Tamara A. Kuzminova

  • Saint Petersburg, Russia
    • MA in sociology, Independent researcher