Title: Beyond entrepreneurs as heroic icons of capitalist society: a case study of street entrepreneurs in India

Authors: Colin C. Williams; Anjula Gurtoo

Addresses: Management School, University of Sheffield, 9 Mappin Street, Sheffield S1 4DT, UK ' Department of Management, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore 560 012, India

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; entrepreneurship; street entrepreneurs; street hawkers; street vendors; informal economy; capitalism; emerging markets; India; capitalist culture.

DOI: 10.1504/IJESB.2013.055485

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

Available online: 30 Jul 2013 *

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