Perspective Paper – Empowerment of Street Vendors: An Untapped Resource in the Informal Economy

A. C. Karunaratna
Nathalia C. Tjandra


Street vending has persisted for centuries and pervasive across the globe since it plays a remarkable role in fulfilling customer needs in the context of the informal economy. In the contemporary business context, authorities have not paid sufficient attention towards street vendors. The paper addresses the specific features of street vending in the context of Sri Lanka, various challenges faced by street vendors and possible courses of action for the empowerment of street vendors. Accordingly, location issue with lack of infrastructure, less support from the government, insecurity and unstable conditions, slow growth, lack of financing opportunities and less support from banks were identified as major challenges faced by street vendors in Sri Lanka. Proper location and infrastructure development, assurance of security including a specific insurance scheme and financial assistance are proposed to empower street vendors to enhance their performance.

Keywords: Street Vending Challenges, Empowering Street Vendors, Informal Economy

Volume 12, Issue 1
June 30, 2021
Pages: 187-207


Suggested citation:

Karunaratna, A.C. & Tjandra, N.C. (2021). Empowerment of street vendors: An untapped resource in the informal economy. Colombo Business Journal, 12(1), 187-207.

A. C. Karunaratna
Faculty of Management and Finance, University of Ruhuna, Sri Lanka

Nathalia C. Tjandra
The Business School, Edinburgh Napier University, UK