Evaluating Competing Explanations for Street Entrepreneurship: Some Evidence from India
Journal of Global Entrepreneurship Research, Vol. 1, No. 2, pp. 3-19, 2011
13 Pages Posted: 14 Dec 2015
Date Written: 2011
Participation in street entrepreneurship is variously explained either as a residue from a pre-modern era (modernisation theory), a necessity-driven endeavour and last resort (structuralist theory), a rational economic choice (neo-liberal theory) or conducted for social or lifestyle reasons (post-modern theory). To evaluate critically these competing explanations, face-to-face interviews were conducted with women street entrepreneurs in India during 2006 and 2007. Finding that 25% explain their participation as necessity-driven, 8% as traditional ancestral activity, 50% as a rational economic choice and 17% as pursued for social or lifestyle reasons, the outcome is a call to combine these previously competing explanations in order to achieve a richer and finer-grained explanation of women’s street entrepreneurship.
Keywords: street hawking, street vendors, entrepreneurship, informal economy, informal sector, India
JEL Classification: H26, J46, J48, K34, K42, O17
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