World’s street papers celebrate #VendorWeek 2016

As the world woke up across time zones yesterday, INSP’s fourth international #VendorWeek kicked off with dozens of street papers joining the worldwide celebration.

From 1-7 February, INSP’s international programme of events, activities and social media action pays tribute to hard working street paper vendors, as well as challenging perceptions of poverty and homelessness.

On social media, the hashtag #VendorWeek spread the message – connecting street papers and promoting their link to the global INSP movement.

Here’s how many of the 112 street papers in our global network are raising awareness for the 11,000 people who sell street papers in 35 countries around the world.

On the cover

#VendorWeek is the perfect time for street papers to shout about our vibrant international network. Many street papers use #VendorWeek as an opportunity to celebrate their own vendors – and to talk about their international colleagues.

#VendorWeek is on the cover of papers in Montreal, Canada and Nashville, USA.

#VendorWeek covers

Guest vendor events

Guest vendor events see high profile individuals and members of the public take on the challenge of selling a street paper, mentored by a vendor. They break down barriers, bringing in new customers and boosting sales at a traditionally quiet time of year.


#VendorWeek 2016 got off to a flying start in Australia, where 60 senior business leaders and politicians are hitting the streets in Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide and Melbourne to sell The Big Issue Australia from 1-5 February.

Leading by example was the street paper’s very own CEO Steven Persson. He said this year’s event is especially poignant as The Big Issue Australia celebrates 20 years in print.

Mike Baird, the Premier of New South Wales, said: “Today is a reminder for me to slow down a little. To have time for everyone, regardless of their attire or status. And it’s a reminder that our homeless shouldn’t be invisible.”


Once again, The Big Issue UK and Big Issue North are holding #VendorWeek fundraising events, across the UK, in partnership with INSP. The excitement kicked off in London when media heavyweights including Guardian columnist Owen Jones, Buzzfeed’s Luke Lewis and editors from Empire, Kerrang! And the Radio Times sold The Big Issue UK in Covent Garden.

A huge buzz on social media ensued, and #VendorWeek was trending in London!

More big names and colourful characters are lined up for #VendorWeek event in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Manchester, Sheffield, Liverpool, Leeds, Stretford and Cardiff later this week. For the first time, INSP’s CEO Maree Aldam will trade places with a vendor for an hour on Glasgow’s Sauchiehall Street on 3 February. Why not sponsor her here?

Click here for the full list of guest vendors, times and pitches.

Following on from the success of its inaugural #VendorWeek event last year, Greek street paper Shedia is inviting readers and celebrity vendors to sell the paper for one hour in central Athens.

Swiss street paper Surprise is also inviting readers and a number of well-known local personalities to swap roles with vendors in Zurich, Basel and Bern all week. Find out more.


Similar #VendorWeek events are also being planned across North America. The team at StreetWise in Chicago will trade places with their vendors, while local politicians and a range of other well-known faces in the community are lined up to sell Street Sense in Washington D.C., and One Step Away in Philadelphia. Groundcover News, sold in Ann Arbour, Michigan, also invited the city’s Mayor to sell the paper on 1 February.


It’s also the first time a guest vendor event has taken place in Canada. On 4 February, Megaphone has invited 15 guest vendors to try their hand at selling a street paper, including musicians, CEOs, activists and politicians.


Mi Valedor will join in the action by inviting fans of the magazine to experience selling in the streets of Mexico City on 6 February. The event will follow a series of special activities for vendors, including professional sales and customer service training and also free dental care at NaturalDent clinic. All money raised during Mi Valedor’s guest selling event will go to a fund for dental treatment for vendors.


Vendor celebrations

Not forgetting Megaphone’s real-life vendors, the Canadian paper will also host #VendorWeek celebration at its monthly vendor meeting. This will include an International Street Paper trivia game, in which vendors can win prizes.L’Itinéraire, sold in Montreal, is celebrating #VendorWeek in its February issue with vendor interviews from around the world. This includes a conversation between vendors from L’Itinéraire and Danish street paper Hus Forbi.

Alberta Street News in Edmonton also plans to celebrate its vendors by handing out appreciation certificates.

Social Media

INSP is leading the way to promote the event on Twitter and Facebook using #VendorWeek. We’re sharing inspiring stories from vendors around the world, on the hour, every hour.

Many of our member street papers also plan to harness the power of social media during #VendorWeek. Hamburg paper Hinz&Kunzt, Seattle’s Real ChangeThe Contributor in Nashville and Street Roots in Portland are telling the story of the street paper movement online by sharing international vendor stories every day.

Macedonian street paper Lice v lice and Serbian street paper Liceulice once again share stories about their most successful vendors on their websites and via social media.

Live-Tweeting a street paper journey

The teams at Street Roots and Real Change plan to tell the daily story of their vendors by live-tweeting new paper day. On 5 February, Street Roots will follow vendors from their HQ to their pitches, and record their morning sales through photos and customer interviews. Follow the action @StreetRoots

Real Change will be live-tweeting their own new paper delivery day on Wednesday. Follow at @RealChangeNews

You can also take part in this this unique global celebration by following these simple steps. Keep track of all the fantastic #VendorWeek events and chat on here.