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  • 1.
    Bernhard, Irene
    et al.
    University West, School of Business, Economics and IT, Division of Media and Design.
    Grunden, Kerstin
    University West, School of Business, Economics and IT, Divison of Informatics.
    Networking and e-government for local development: experiences gained by entrepreneurs in small enterprises in Sweden2016In: International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, ISSN 1476-1297, E-ISSN 1741-8054, Vol. 29, no 2, p. 154-175Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper aims to analyse experiences gained by entrepreneurs in small enterprises located in a region undergoing structural change, focusing on networking and e-government for local development. The study is a further development of a study that focused on how municipalities supported entrepreneurship and destination development. In-depth qualitative interviews were made with twelve entrepreneurs from ten small enterprises. Based on a theoretical discussion of networking, e-government and social media marketing, the results indicate that networks and strategic networking were important in order to develop their enterprises, which also contributed to local development. The importance of initial face-to-face contacts in order to build business relationships in networks was stressed. The use of local e-government was hitherto limited to e-services for public procurement, the use of social media marketing was limited due to lack of time, competence and motivation for most of the entrepreneurs.

  • 2.
    Bernhard, Irene
    et al.
    University West, School of Business, Economics and IT, Division of Media and Design.
    Karlsson, Charlie
    Jönköping University.
    Editorial2014In: International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, ISSN 1476-1297, E-ISSN 1741-8054, Vol. 21, no 3, p. 269-274Article in journal (Other academic)
  • 3.
    Bernhard, Irene
    et al.
    University West, School of Business, Economics and IT, Division of Media and Design.
    Wihlborg, Elin
    Linköpings universitet, Department of Management and Engineering.
    Policy entrepreneurs in networks: implementation of two Swedish municipal contact centres from an actor perspective2014In: International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, ISSN 1476-1297, E-ISSN 1741-8054, Vol. 21, no 3, p. 288-302Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This study aims to elaborate on the meanings of policy entrepreneursand through the conceptualisation analysing implementation of local municipalcontact centres – a Swedish local e-governmental initiative. The paper buildson qualitative case studies including interviews, observations and documentanalysis, all analysed through the perspective of policy entrepreneurs. Localpolicies are implemented in relation to local cultures, norms and economicstructures. The networked governance structure demands entrepreneurial actorsto combine resources and interests into a change. Here we identified boththeoretically and practical, two types of such entrepreneurial actors. The issueentrepreneur focuses on the issue as such and focuses on the solution to a singleproblem. The political entrepreneur, on the other hand, focuses on core valuesand long term structural changes. The emerging networked governancestructure asks for improved knowledge on policy entrepreneurship both foranalytical and practical improvements. The findings may provide usefulinformation for municipal e-government planning specifically when planningfor implementing contact centres. The study enriches the existing literature onpolicy entrepreneurs in networks expanding the roles to include also local e-government contexts.

  • 4.
    Bernhard, Iréne
    University West, School of Business, Economics and IT, Division of Media and Design.
    Editorial2016In: International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, ISSN 1476-1297, E-ISSN 1741-8054, Vol. 29, no 2, p. 149-153Article in journal (Other academic)
  • 5.
    Bernhard, Iréne
    et al.
    University West, School of Business, Economics and IT, Division of Media and Design.
    Olsson, Anna Karin
    University West, School of Business, Economics and IT, Division of Business Administration.
    Network collaboration for local and regional development the case of Swedish women entrepreneurs2019In: International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, ISSN 1476-1297, E-ISSN 1741-8054Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The aim of this study is to explore women entrepreneurs participation in networks with focus on local community collaboration. In recent years interest in the importance of women entrepreneurship worldwide has increased, especially from the viewpoint of local and regional development. Previous studies show that local competitors coordinated in networks can gain cross sector knowledge sharing and boost the attractiveness of a region. Using case study methodology with 14 qualitative semi-structured in-depth interviews in two phases with business counselors and women entrepreneurs, participatory observations and document studies, this study explores women entrepreneurs in smaller cities and their collaboration in networks with particular reference to a Swedish context. Results state that women entrepreneurs are active and participate in various local community networks and that networks are viewed as valuable assets for business development. Women entrepreneurs strategically choose to join strong networks that have an impact on local community development. 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 business and public actors, especially in contact with authorities. The women entrepreneurs have mixed experiences of local community support hence the main sources for renewal processes and knowledge sharing are co-owners, staff, digital tools, networks partners, families and friends.

  • 6.
    Lagrosen, Stefan
    et al.
    Linnaeus University, School of Business and Economics.
    Lind, Linda
    University West, Department of Engineering Science.
    Immigrant entrepreneurship: The role of relationship marketing in learning networks2014In: International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, ISSN 1476-1297, E-ISSN 1741-8054, Vol. 21, no 3, p. 355-369Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The purpose of this paper is to study the role of entrepreneurial learning networks in developing immigrant relationship marketing. The point of departure lies in the fields of relationship marketing and organisational learning. The paper is conceptual and based on a theoretical analysis of one of the major models of relationship marketing in relation to immigrant entrepreneurship and learning, based on theory and previous research. Some relationships that have important implications for immigrant entrepreneurship are identified. It is found that learning, particularly in the form of networks, play an important role in the development of them. Copyright © 2014 Inderscience Enterprises Ltd.

  • 7.
    Olsson, Anna Karin
    University West, School of Business, Economics and IT, Division of Business Administration.
    Canals, Rivers and Lakes as Experiencescapes: Destination Development Based on Strategic Use of Inland Water2016In: International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, ISSN 1476-1297, E-ISSN 1741-8054, Vol. 29, no 2, p. 217-243Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Earlier studies show that there is an increasing interest in exploration and (re)development of waterways sites with surrounding areas used for leisure, recreation and tourism. The aim of this study is to explore selected Nordic destinations with focus on the strategic use of inland water areas as experiencescapes to promote destination development. Competition among destinations has escalated, hence also the need for well- coordinated tourism offerings. As shown in many studies various stakeholders from private, public and voluntary sectors often interact at destinations. Earlier tourism studies show that coordination of networks is crucial since successful destinations are based on interrelated stakeholders that understand the concept of the destination and are committed to cooperate in offering a holistic experience to visitors. The data collection includes a combination of different methods: observations, interviews with destination stakeholders, and collection of documents related to the selected destinations and regions. Findings show a varied mix of elements and dimensions related to physical, social and sensory settings in the studied experiencescapes. Thevariety in applied approaches for co-ordination of offerings, collaboration and management of destination stakeholders in inland water areas is discussed.

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