Regional Growth and Entrepreneurial Diversity in Sweden
Edited by Charlie Karlsson, Charlotte Silander and Daniel Silander
Chapter 9: Political entrepreneurs and immigrants’ entrepreneurship
AbstractFor 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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