Basic information
Original title:
Mladi podjetniki v času negotovosti in spodbujenega optimizma: etnološka študija podjetništva in etike mladih v sodobni Sloveniji
Researchers involved:
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1 July 2019–30 June 2022

The project is devised as ethnographic research of young people, economy, and ethics in modern-day Slovenia. The young entrepreneur in Slovenia, will be analysed as a historical subject in specific contemporary frameworks of (trans)national society, the economy, the media, public opinion and ethics, and as the creator of youth culture with a corresponding ethical stance. Until recently, the (self)attribution “young entrepreneur” was not used in Slovenia, but today it is widely used in public and professional discourse. Ever more young people form their socio-cultural visibility and identify with this category. We understand young entrepreneurs as ethical persons, therefore our study addresses the processes of personal (self)constructing and the factors directing individuals towards entrepreneurial activity and shaping what is supposedly their own corresponding culture, which effects the wider Slovenian society. These factors include education at various levels, mass- and social media, as well as newly established institutions and social spaces for stimulating entrepreneurship present today in all Slovenian regions. From a historical perspective, the recent economic and moral crisis, which included youth unemployment, was an influential factor, though it also prompted thoughts and measures, which stimulated youth entrepreneurship. Our research project addresses this phenomenon in the tradition of ethnological studies of livelihood strategies and practices.

Project steps

Preparation (months 1–6): Familiarising with pre-existing research in Slovenia and abroad. Creating an overview of the supporting environment (media, education, state institutions etc.). Every two months, the project team will meet at reading seminars, where members will discuss literature, and link the thereby comprehended concepts and insights with their own research.

Fieldwork research and discourse analysis (months 7–26): Fieldwork on various locations, i.e. in Ljubljana and Maribor and selected smaller Slovenian towns (Dr Kozorog, Dr Simonič, Dr Kravanja, Ličen). Fieldwork in primary and secondary schools (Dr Poljak Istenič). Discourse analysis of expert, academic and media narratives on young entrepreneur and an analysis of gender (Dr Bajuk Senčar). Historical comparison of newly produced and older materials (Dr Fikfak). Liaising with university incubators and finding ways for exchange of knowledge and dissemination of research (Dr Podjed). Simultaneously, student-led research will run at the University of Ljubljana (Dr Kozorog, Dr Simonič, Dr Kravanja, Dr Podjed). Mid-project, a joint workshop for researchers and studied entrepreneurs, which will enable a transparent comparison of entrepreneurs, their methods and goals, and the environments in which they operate.

Dissemination and popularisation (months 27–36): At the start of this phase, an international seminar will be organised, to which researchers from abroad will be invited. Fieldwork will be in the finalizing phase. Finalization of publications for print. Participation at conferences and symposia. Collaboration with outside scientists, media, and policy implementers with a view to disseminate results outside the realm of ethnology and science.


Miha Kozorog has (during preparation of the project) published a project related article The Ecosystem Ideal and Local Neoliberalism of the Young Entrepreneur: The Millennialsʼ Entrepreneurial Environment in Slovenia (Etnološka tribina 48: 259-280). Read

Lead partner

Project manager at ZRC

Funded by

Slovenian Research Agency

Fields of research

Cultural anthropology, ethnology S220 


young people • ethics and morality • personhood • livelihood practices • economy • entrepreneurship • future • hope • uncertainty • accelerated optimism • Slovenia