Monday, April 27, 2009

'an honest hustle'

In Cleveland, citizens turn to the informal. The Plain Dealer has the story of this totally sensible version of entrepreneurship. It should be encouraged.

Here are the first few grafs.
When Zainab Rahman needed money, she turned her front porch into a take-out restaurant.

As soon as she fired up the deep fryer, lines began forming for catfish and tilapia dinners. Rahman's Polish Boy sandwich specials made her improvised restaurant a required stop on the walk home from school. The jumbo croissants she sold for less than $4 a dozen made her popular among bargain hunters in Cleveland's Glenville neighborhood.

Her entrepreneurial venture offered a glimpse at what experts call the informal economy. It's also known as the shadow, underground or invisible economy, because this form of commerce usually operates outside the mainstream of regulation and taxes.

People engaged in the informal economy call it something else: "survival," "making ends meet" or "an honest hustle."

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