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Women Entrepreneurs in Local Community Networks: Participation, Challenges and Place Development
University West, School of Business, Economics and IT, Division of Media and Design. (LINA)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-2118-2152
University West, School of Business, Economics and IT, Division of Business Administration. (LINA)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1991-4588
2017 (English)In: Uddevalla Symposium 2017: Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Industrial Dynamics in Internationalized Regional Economies: Revised papers first presented at the 20th Uddevalla Symposium 15-17 June, 2017, Trollhättan, Sweden / [ed] Iréne Bernhard, Trollhättan: University West , 2017, 129-147 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The aim of this study is to explore women entrepreneurs' participation in local community networks with focus on place development. In recent years interest in the importance of female entrepreneurship worldwide has increased, especially from the viewpoint of local and regional development. Previous studies show that local competitors coordinated in networks can boost the attractiveness of a place and achieve network synergies. This study is a continuation of an earlier study of Swedish municipal business counsellors' support to female entrepreneurs in tourism where findings show that there was a lack of support for women as entrepreneurs. Using a qualitative method approach with semi-structured in-depth interviews and document studies, this study explores women entrepreneurs' participation and collaboration in local community networks, challenges and local support with particular reference to a Swedish context. The study is based on interviews with 11 women entrepreneurs who were selected from three municipalities in Sweden. All respondents are active in the tourism sector and participate in local community networks. Results indicate that cross-sector networks, preferably strong networks that may have an impact on local community development, are important, especially from the perspective of a small entrepreneur. Smaller informal groups of other local entrepreneurs are also vital for inspiration and renewal processes. Furthermore, findings indicate that participating in collaboration in networks (face-to-face and digital), smaller groups or co-ownership is seen as means to develop the business as well as contributing to boost the attractiveness of a place. Challenges faced by women entrepreneurs are mainly related to the role as entrepreneur and running a business in a smaller city. However, some specific gendered challenges are lack of trust or respect from other actors, especially in contact with authorities and the dual roles in combining entrepreneurship and family. Respondents have mixed experiences of local community support. However, several women entrepreneurs stress the importance of local support, stating the importance of family and friends.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Trollhättan: University West , 2017. 129-147 p.
Series
Reports University West, ISSN 2002-6188, E-ISSN 2002-6196 ; 2017:1
Keyword [en]
Women entrepreneurs, local community, network, gender, innovation, tourism, place development
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Work Integrated Learning; SOCIAL SCIENCE, Human and economic geography; SOCIAL SCIENCE, Business administration
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hv:diva-11847ISBN: 978-91-87531-61-3 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hv-11847DiVA: diva2:1161319
Conference
Uddevalla Symposium 2017: Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Industrial Dynamics in Internationalized Regional Economies, 20th Uddevalla Symposium 15-17 June, 2017, Trollhättan, Sweden
Available from: 2017-11-29 Created: 2017-11-29 Last updated: 2017-11-29Bibliographically approved

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Bernhard, IréneOlsson, Anna Karin

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