Street Entrepreneurship in the Wake of Covid-19: The Dilemma of Street Vending and Strategies for Endurance

Daniel Chigudu
International Journal of Economics and Business Administration, Volume IX, Issue 1, 257-273, 2021
DOI: 10.35808/ijeba/671


Purpose: To determine how street vendors can endure and sustain their livelihoods under the restrictive conditions of Covid-19 management in Zimbabwe. Although entrepreneurship takes a widespread conception, one of its forms is characterized by informality like street vending. Despite local authorities' attempts to designate vending areas to decongest urban centers, street vendors always attempt to find their way back to the central business districts (CBD) in Zimbabwe. Designated areas are necessary, but vendors argue that they hardly get clients in those usually allocated in the peripherals. To curb CBD influx regulatory authorities, resort to stern measures like the demolition of vending stalls. This is viewed as human rights violation against people trying to make ends meet. Design/Methodology/Approach: A hermeneutic phenomenological approach informs qualitative research through secondary data obtained from media reports, research reports, books, and speeches. Content analysis as a data analysis method was used to elicit meaning. Findings: Findings reveal that local authorities have demolished vending stalls across the country in compliance with Statutory Instrument 77 of 2020 promulgated by the government to curb the spread of Covid-19. This has left street vendors gasping for life with no alternatives for livelihood, especially when no vaccine against the pandemic is expected anytime soon. Practical Implications: This study is useful in developing countries with high unemployment rates like Zimbabwe and the high informal sector in the form of street vending, among other means of livelihood. Originality/Value: Under these Covid-19 excruciating circumstances, this study provides novel ideas that could benefit both this marginalized group and policymakers in the country. The recommended strategies for coping and sustaining livelihoods are given without compromising prescribed conditions to fight the pandemic.

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