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Hurdles to handicraft marketing for artisan entrepreneurs in an emerging economy

Arunava Dalal (University of Engineering and Management, Kolkata, India)
Subhajit Bhattacharya (XIM University, Bhubaneswar, India)
Subrata Chattopadhyay (University of Engineering and Management, Kolkata, India)

Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development

ISSN: 1462-6004

Article publication date: 30 November 2023

Issue publication date: 14 March 2024




Crafts embody the history and heritage of their country of origin and can play an essential role in the country's socioeconomic development by providing significant job opportunities for the rural population. This article investigates the significant challenges that artisan entrepreneurs face when creating, communicating and selling handcrafted goods to potential customers in emerging economies. This study attempted to rate the impediments based on their severity using the voices of artisan entrepreneurs.


A mixed-method approach combining qualitative and quantitative data analysis was followed to identify the leading causes of the artisans' pain points. In the first phase, empirical observations were gathered through focus group discussions with artisan entrepreneurs, and the identified factors were quantitatively ranked using the analytic hierarchy process in the second phase.


The mixed-method research assisted in identifying the primary constraints affecting the efficient and effective operation of the artisan-driven small handicraft business. This study identified six factors that were ranked based on the voices of artisan entrepreneurs during the survey, as barriers to effective handicraft marketing.


Few studies on the handcraft industry have sought to explore the issues faced by artisan businesses holistically. The voices of artisan entrepreneurs were gathered for this study to identify and rate the present obstacles influencing the functioning of small handicraft firms in emerging nations. Handicraft marketing will become more effective and efficient if these barriers are removed.



The authors are grateful to the Editor-in-Chief, Associate Editor, and anonymous referees for their constructive comments to improve the quality of this article.


Dalal, A., Bhattacharya, S. and Chattopadhyay, S. (2024), "Hurdles to handicraft marketing for artisan entrepreneurs in an emerging economy", Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, Vol. 31 No. 1, pp. 74-94.



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