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Edited by Mikaela Backman, Charlie Karlsson and Orsa Kekezi

Many developed countries are facing a demographic change with an increasing share of older individuals, yet little is known about how older workers will impact regional and national economies in terms of labor market dynamics. This Handbook deals with the important and emerging field of entrepreneurship among this group and focuses on the behavioral perspectives of this phenomenon; on innovation, dynamics and performance; and the ways entrepreneurship among the elderly looks within different countries.
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Mikaela Backman, Charlie Karlsson and Orsa Kekezi

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Smart, Sustainable and Inclusive Growth

Political Entrepreneurship for a Prosperous Europe

Edited by Charlie Karlsson, Daniel Silander and Brigitte Pircher

This study explores the Europe 2020 strategy and the role of European political entrepreneurship in debating, shaping and implementing this strategy within the EU. The book sets out to explore the content, conditions and consequences of Europe 2020 by analysing the plan for a future prosperous EU economy. The main focus is on European political entrepreneurship and how the strategy has been debated and decided on, and then implemented from a governance perspective with multiple European actors.
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Edited by Urban Gråsjö, Charlie Karlsson and Iréne Bernhard

Developed countries must be incredibly innovative to secure incomes and welfare so that they may successfully compete against international rivals. This book focuses on two specific but interrelated aspects of innovation by incumbent firms and entrepreneurs, the role of geography and of open innovation.
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Governance and Political Entrepreneurship in Europe

Promoting Growth and Welfare in Times of Crisis

Edited by Charlie Karlsson, Charlotte Silander and Daniel Silander

The economic crisis has had severe and negative impacts on the EU over the last decade. This book focuses on a neglected dimension by examining European political entrepreneurship in times of economic crisis with particular emphasis on EU member-states, institutions and policies. The main focus is on the role that the political entrepreneur can play in promoting entrepreneurship and growth. It is argued that the political entrepreneur and political entrepreneurship can positively influence the conditions for entrepreneurial activity and business.
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Daniel Silander and Charlotte Silander

Using social science and economics perspectives, the goal of this study is to complement the dominant business administration research on entrepreneurship by increasing our knowledge about the economic-political context in which entrepreneurship and private enterprise are conducted. This book explores the role of political entrepreneurs for regional growth and entrepreneurial diversity in Sweden. We define a political entrepreneur as a politician/bureaucrat/officer/department within the publicly funded sector who with innovative approaches encourages entrepreneurship/business and where the goals are growth, employment and the common good. The approach of this book is to enrich the established research on entrepreneurship with in-depth knowledge of the conditions for entrepreneurship in Sweden. The main focus of study is the role that the political entrepreneur might play in promoting entrepreneurship, enterprise and entrepreneurial diversity in the Swedish economy.

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Staffan Andersson and Tobias Bromander

Is entrepreneurship always contributing positively to society? This chapter demonstrates the relevance of raising this question by highlighting negative political entrepreneurship that can occur in close collaborations between entrepreneurs from the private sector and political entrepreneurs. We problematize negative entrepreneurship and its societal impact by linking it with the effects of conflicts of interest and corruption. Our general conclusion is that changes to the way public administration operates create opportunities for political entrepreneurship, but may also entail risks in terms of negative political entrepreneurship. We discuss negative political entrepreneurship by linking it with research on conflict of interest and corruption and thereby we focus the discussion on aspects that research shows has particularly negative impacts on society.

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Daniel Silander

The political entrepreneur is to be found in the public sector. However, the public entrepreneur not only acts in relation to other public actors, but also in relation to the business sector with entrepreneurs. To discuss and understand who is the political entrepreneur is therefore to explore the relationships and networks between the public sector and the business sector, the entrepreneurs involved and how the political entrepreneur must act to promote favourable conditions for entrepreneurs. In times of global economic competition, economic recession and transformation of the urban and rural economic landscapes, it is important from local and regional perspectives to have political entrepreneurs that seek new opportunities for growth. This is done by changing traditional norms and values of who the entrepreneur might be and how entrepreneurship is to be conducted. It is about identifying windows of opportunities and exploring new formal and informal favourable conditions for existing and potential entrepreneurs.

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Per Strömblad

For several decades, Sweden has been a country of immigration, during which process multicultural diversity has been built up. Nevertheless, equal opportunity despite ethnic or national origin seems to be a distant goal, rather than something indisputably safeguarded in a democratic welfare society of the globalization era. In light of unequal preconditions, not least in the labour market, there has for a long time been a political ambition to cultivate entrepreneurship in the immigrant population. An increasing level of self-employment – most preferably in groups that otherwise struggle hard to compete in the labour market – is expected to stimulate employment, both to the benefit of the actual entrepreneur, thus being able to make a living, and in terms of the possibility for small businesses to expand and contribute to the creation of new jobs in the economy. The attractiveness of such a win-win plan notwithstanding, reality seems to be hard to comprehend and influence. This chapter describes and discusses conditions for entrepreneurship among immigrants in Sweden. Specifically, the question of the role of public policy initiatives in this regard will be addressed. As the results from this analysis will show, there may be reasons to suspect housing segregation to be an independent factor influencing the entrepreneurial level of ambition in Sweden.

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Charlotte Silander and Caroline Berggren

Women as entrepreneurs are on the political agenda in most European countries. The creation of businesses is considered to be an important way to keep the economy growing. Women are especially targeted as a potential group in order to increase the number of self-employed on the labour market since they are comparatively few. Policies to promote entrepreneurship have rapidly been more and more directed towards higher education. This approach has resulted in an increase in the number of entrepreneurship education programmes at universities and a higher expectation for graduates to become self-employed. There is, however, limited empirical research into how political entrepreneurs in Sweden pushed for, and succeeded in, promoting employment and entrepreneurship among women. Political entrepreneurs in the area of women’s entrepreneurship act within a policy frame that almost exclusively limits policy and action to the individual; that is, it focuses on ‘changing the women’ in order to fit them into the expectations of society, and lacks structurally oriented actions to really change the possibilities for women’s entrepreneurship. How these political entrepreneurs act and interact to support female entrepreneurship needs to be studied more closely in the future in empirical studies at the micro level to provide greater knowledge of political entrepreneurship.