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Entrepreneurial activities in transition economies go beyond (technical) entrepreneurship. In an environment of institutional and procedural uncertainty entrepreneurs need to select business partners, choose a mode of governance that stabilizes long term business relations, and settle for such property rights regime that best matches the entrepreneurial endeavour. Bases on fieldwork in China the paper shows how entrepreneurs combine their predisposition for social relations with economic reasoning when they embed firms in one location, in mixed forms of relational and contractual governance, and specific ownership structures. The empirical research points to alternative economic concepts which allow further analysing the interaction between individual entrepreneurship and the emergence of market conforming institutions.