A theoretical framework for sustaining culture: Culturally sustainable entrepreneurship

Kristen K Swanson, Constance DeVereaux

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


While the three phenomena—culture, sustainability, and entrepreneurship—have been discussed separately, or paired in the tourism literature, they have rarely been studied together. This paper proposes culturally sustainable entrepreneurship as a new, theoretical framework for insight and advocacy in indigenous and non-indigenous tourism contexts. Culturally sustainable entrepreneurship encourages adapting entrepreneurial models that sustain and enhance the values and traditions of a community for its self-defined benefits, rather than imposing economic entrepreneurial models that may change conditions within a community. Entrepreneurial strategies in the mainstream proceed upon values that may diverge sharply from those of non-mainstream cultures. Culturally sustainable entrepreneurship promotes sustainable empowerment through owned-decision making for marginalized populations. Living cultures are presented as particular application for culturally sustainable entrepreneurship.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)78-88
Number of pages11
JournalAnnals of Tourism Research
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017


  • Culture
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Indigenous
  • Sustainability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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