Regional Growth and Entrepreneurial Diversity in Sweden
Edited by Charlie Karlsson, Charlotte Silander and Daniel Silander
Chapter 7: Political entrepreneurs and women’s entrepreneurship
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.
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