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"I Wanna Be Free": On the Challenges and Coping Strategies of Women Entrepreneurs in Sweden
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Industrial Economics and Management (Dept.), Accounting, finance, economics and organization (AFEO).ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4187-3097
2024 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Women's entrepreneurship is often presented as important for creating economic prosperity at the national level and is said to offer freedom, independence, and emancipation for women. The purpose of this study is to explore the conditions of women entrepreneurs who have different backgrounds in Sweden. To achieve this purpose, this study focuses on the challenges women entrepreneurs perceive and the coping strategies they employ to navigate these challenges. The study adopts an intersectional gender perspective, grounded in research on entrepreneurship, gender, and ethnicity. It draws on qualitative data collected through semi-structured interviews with women entrepreneurs in Sweden who have different backgrounds. The findings show that the challenges experienced by the women entrepreneurs included lack of support, being belittled, being excluded, having to work harder and be strong and having to adapt. The analysis discusses that these challenges can be understood as a result of gendered perceptions of entrepreneurship and processes of Othering. Ethnicity and race also play a role in shaping these conditions. The interviewed women deal with the conditions through four strategies: the assimilation strategy; the positive strategy, the ambiguity strategy, and the change strategy. The coping strategies are discussed in relation to empowerment and emancipation. From a theoretical perspective, this study contributes to developing concepts and conceptual relationships to capture how gender, ethnicity, and race impact women's conditions as entrepreneurs. 

Abstract [sv]

Kvinnors entreprenörskap framställs ofta som viktigt för att skapa ekonomiskt välstånd på nationell nivå och sägs erbjuda frihet, oberoende och bemäktigande för kvinnor. Syftet med denna studie är att undersöka villkoren för kvinnliga företagare med olika bakgrunder i Sverige. För att uppnå detta syfte fokuserar studien på de utmaningar kvinnliga företagare upplever samt de strategier de använder för att hantera dessa utmaningar. Studien anlägger ett intersektionellt genusperspektiv som grundas i forskning om företagande, genus och etnicitet. Den bygger på kvalitativt empiriskt material som insamlats in genom semistrukturerade intervjuer med kvinnliga företagare i Sverige som har olika bakgrunder. Huvudresultaten visar att de utmaningar som de kvinnliga entreprenörerna handlar upplevelser av brist på stöd, att bli förminskad, att bli exkluderad, att behöva arbeta hårdare och vara stark, samt att behöva anpassa sig. I analysen diskuteras hur dessa utmaningar kan förstås som ett resultat av könsmärkta föreställningar om entreprenörskap och s.k. Andrafieringsprocesser. Etnicitet och ras spelar också en roll i hur dessa villkoråterskapas. De intervjuade kvinnorna hanterar villkoren genom fyra strategier: assimileringsstrategin, den positiva strategin, tvetydighetsstrategin och förändringsstrategin. Dessa strategier diskuteras i relation till begreppen bemäktigande och emancipation. Ur ett teoretiskt perspektiv bidrar denna studie till att utveckla begrepp och begreppsrelationer för att fånga hur kön, etnicitet och ras påverkar kvinnors villkor som företagare och deras strategier.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2024. , p. 161
Series
TRITA-ITM-AVL ; 2024:2
Keywords [en]
Gender, gender equality, women entrepreneurs, gendered entrepreneurship, immigrant entrepreneurs, ethnicity, race, challenges, coping strategies, othering, identity work, belonging, empowerment, emancipation, Sweden.
National Category
Gender Studies International Migration and Ethnic Relations Social Sciences Interdisciplinary Economics and Business Business Administration
Research subject
Industrial Economics and Management
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-343045ISBN: 978-91-8040-818-9 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-343045DiVA, id: diva2:1834833
Public defence
2024-03-12, Sal F3 - https://kth-se.zoom.us/j/61002636885, Lindstedtsvägen 26, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2024-02-08 Created: 2024-02-05 Last updated: 2024-03-06Bibliographically approved

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