Original theories of status and markets underscore status as a symbolic and universalistic resource that is externally and evenly allocated (Podolny, 1993). Newer theory, however, sees that there are also concrete and particularistic elements of status, which can be allocated unevenly across different situations, and can be built and changed through social and economic exchanges (Binning & Huo, 2012). While most status work in entrepreneurship explores how entrepreneurs draw on the symbolic and universalistic status of others to enhance venture legitimacy (Saxton & Saxton, 2011), we inductively explore a context where status is vastly different. We focus on informal entrepreneurs – those working outside of the institutional and legal frameworks of their countries (Webb, Tihanyi, Ireland, & Sirmon, 2009) – and inductively explore how they discursively construct concrete and particularistic status through social and economic actions.