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Unconventional entrepreneurs: the non-economic motives of souvenir sellers.

Light, D., Lupu, C., Cretan, R. and Chapman, A., 2024. Unconventional entrepreneurs: the non-economic motives of souvenir sellers. Tourism Review.

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DOI: 10.1108/TR-09-2023-0655


Purpose The purpose of this paper is to examine souvenir sellers as unconventional micro-entrepreneurs, focusing on non-economic motives for selling. Design/methodology/approach A qualitative methodology was used. Semi-structured interviews were undertaken with 20 souvenir sellers in the Romanian city of Timişoara. These were analysed using thematic analysis which identified four non-economic motives for selling souvenirs. Findings Souvenir selling was a matter of choice rather than economic necessity. While these sellers were entrepreneurs who were seeking to generate income, non-economic motives were also important. These included passion, hobbyism and interpersonal interactions with customers. Some sellers considered themselves as cultural intermediaries, representing place and tradition to their customers. Research limitations/implications In a European context, selling souvenirs can be a matter of lifestyle choice rather than economic necessity. Micro-entrepreneurs are frequently motivated by passion, hobbyism and interpersonal rewards as much as financial profit. This represents a particular form of unconventional or lifestyle entrepreneurship. Practical implications The encouragement of on-street souvenir sellers by urban managers can add vibrancy to a city, enhancing the experiences of local communities and visitors. This can also encourage the development of an artisan class to enhance a city’s reputation as a creative place. Originality/value Souvenir sellers are little researched, and this is one of few studies that has investigated this group outside Developing World contexts. This study emphasises the importance of unconventional entrepreneurship and non-economic motives for selling souvenirs in a European context.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Souvenir sellers; Micro-entrepreneurs; Unconventional entrepreneurship; Passion; Hobby; interpersonal benefits
ID Code:39402
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:17 Jan 2024 12:55
Last Modified:17 Jan 2024 12:55


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