Beyond Entrepreneurs as Heroic Icons of Capitalist Society: A Case Study of Street Entrepreneurs in India

International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, Vol. 19, No. 4, pp. 421-437 (2013)

17 Pages Posted: 22 Dec 2015

See all articles by Colin Williams

Colin Williams

University of Sheffield - School of Management

Anjula Gurtoo

Indian Institute of Science

Date Written: 2013

Abstract

The starting point of this paper is the recognition that the entrepreneurship literature is dominated by a normative ideologically-driven depiction of the entrepreneur as a heroic icon and symbolic figurehead of capitalist culture. The aim of this paper is to directly and intentionally challenge this dominant depiction by reporting the findings of a 2010 survey of 871 street entrepreneurs in the Indian city of Bangalore to reveal not only how street hawkers are as much engaged in entrepreneurial endeavour as the revered heroic figures normally associated with entrepreneurship, but also how this is not a weak, necessity-driven, transient and disappearing form of entrepreneurship, but resilient, opportunity-driven and persistent. The outcome is a call to transcend the ideal-type depiction of entrepreneurs as heroic iconic figures and for a more lived practice approach that recognises and values the prevalence of other (and ‘othered’) forms of entrepreneurship across the globe.

Keywords: enterprise culture, entrepreneurs, street entrepreneurs, street hawkers, street vendors, informal economy, capitalism, emerging markets, India

JEL Classification: H26, J46, K42, O17, P3

Suggested Citation

Williams, Colin and Gurtoo, Anjula, Beyond Entrepreneurs as Heroic Icons of Capitalist Society: A Case Study of Street Entrepreneurs in India (2013). International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, Vol. 19, No. 4, pp. 421-437 (2013), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2706689

Colin Williams (Contact Author)

University of Sheffield - School of Management ( email )

15 Conduit Road
Sheffield, S10 1FL
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/management/staff/williams/index

Anjula Gurtoo

Indian Institute of Science ( email )

Bangalore, IN Karnataka 560012
India

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