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Hobbyists, artisans and entrepreneurs: Investigating business support and identifying entrepreneurial profiles in the Irish craft sector

Martin Bouette (Department of MBA Creative Industries, University for the Creative Arts, Rochester, UK)
Florence Magee (New Creative Markets, SPACE, London, UK)

Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development

ISSN: 1462-6004

Article publication date: 18 May 2015

1302

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide an insight into the goals and values of craft practitioners in Ireland, and assesses the validity of the business support provided to Dublin based craft practitioners. This research aimed to identify entrepreneurial traits in craft businesses and to challenge the objectives of public business support programs. This research enquires into what support practitioners have participated in and the perceived relevance to their professional needs and goals. Indeed, does demand or policy shape business support programs for craft in Dublin?

Design/methodology/approach

This paper is based on a mix of quantitative and qualitative research using surveys and interviews.

Findings

The research provides new insights into the goals and values of craft practitioners in Ireland. It identifies discrepancies between the needs of these businesses and the support programs available in Dublin. This study also highlighted three profiles of craft practitioners with distinct goals and values: the hobbyist, the artisan and the entrepreneur.

Research limitations/implications

This study was limited to members registered with the Craft Council of Ireland in Dublin. It therefore excluded any professional craft business non-registered with the agency.

Practical implications

This paper provides valuable insights on craft practitioners goals and values and offers useful recommendation on business support for craft micro-businesses in Ireland.

Originality/value

This paper offers empirical data entirely new for Ireland and highlights the similarities between craft businesses and other micro-businesses, questioning business support rationale for the whole of this sector.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors thank: Craft Council of Ireland, Dublin City Enterprise Board, Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Enterprise Board, Fingal County Enterprise Board, South Dublin County Enterprise Boards.

Citation

Bouette, M. and Magee, F. (2015), "Hobbyists, artisans and entrepreneurs: Investigating business support and identifying entrepreneurial profiles in the Irish craft sector", Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, Vol. 22 No. 2, pp. 337-351. https://doi.org/10.1108/JSBED-02-2013-0022

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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