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‘Just want to surf, make boards and party’: how do we identify lifestyle entrepreneurs within the lifestyle sports industry?

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This paper aims to further our understanding of the identity of the lifestyle entrepreneur operating within the lifestyle sports industry. The lifestyle entrepreneur has to date been the subject of numerous definitions. However, understanding the context in which entrepreneurs operate has been identified by researchers as impacting upon the actions they take, and so therefore linking context to the entrepreneur is critical to the understanding of these individuals. A mixed methods study comprising of 80 questionnaire responses, and 21 semi-structured interviews focussed on identifying lifestyle sports entrepreneurs. Two groups of entrepreneurs were targeted; those entrepreneurs operating within a sport (Engagers) and those who run a business to participate (Enablers). Issues surrounding the identification of lifestyle entrepreneurs are presented. Through the analysis of the data, entrepreneurs identified through their own narratives how their identities are created. The results demonstrate that while the current external interpretation of the lifestyle entrepreneur is of a fixed nature, the entrepreneurs themselves evidence a much more complex approach to their identities.

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This data use within this paper forms part of the first author’s PhD thesis, which is funded by University of Plymouth on a studentship award.

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Correspondence to Laura Wallis.

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Notes: The questionnaire questions can be provided on request to the lead author –

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Wallis, L., Walmsley, A., Beaumont, E. et al. ‘Just want to surf, make boards and party’: how do we identify lifestyle entrepreneurs within the lifestyle sports industry?. Int Entrep Manag J 16, 917–934 (2020).

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