The purpose of this paper is to problematise the dominant conceptualisation of entrepreneurship by recognising the everyday resistance inherent in mundane entrepreneurial practices. Its principle purpose is to show how entrepreneurial activities enacted by ordinary individuals in a marginalised and oppressed context can be an important means of resisting economic adversity, social marginalisation and political (colonial) domination.
Framed within de Certeau’s conceptualisation of the practices of everyday life, this study utilises a “focussed ethnography”, relying on “participant observation” and “informal interviews”, to explore the perceptions and experiences of Palestinian women street vendors, and how they use everyday entrepreneurial practices in the open-air market of the Old City of Jerusalem to become socially and politically empowered.
The arguments in this paper demonstrate how marginalised Palestinian women, who are equipped with a genuine critical vision of their reality and a biophiliac attitude, use entrepreneuring to enact new possibilities for themselves and for their families. Through their entrepreneurial act of street vending, these women exemplify a struggle against economic and socio-political constraints, transforming the act of entrepreneuring from a mere economic practice to an all-encompassing human project, one with a more human face.
This paper extends the argument for the complex and dynamic nature of the phenomenon and exposes its political nature, hitherto inadequately addressed in existing literature, as well as uncovers the potential of entrepreneurialism to enhance individual empowerment and contribute to meaningful social change. In addition, it addresses the need for scholarly work that focuses on the everyday entrepreneurial activities carried out by ordinary individuals experiencing various forms of oppression in new and challenging spaces, which are seldom acknowledged within the dominant theoretical and research frameworks.
The authors would like to extend their gratitude to the generous support of Professor Tina Ottman, who helped to improve the quality and readability of this paper. Her comments and feedback have made this paper what it is now.
Sabella, A.R. and El-Far, M.T. (2019), "Entrepreneuring as an everyday form of resistance: An exploration of the experiences of Palestinian women street vendors in the occupied Old City of Jerusalem", International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, Vol. 25 No. 6, pp. 1212-1235. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJEBR-03-2018-0174
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