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Support for women's entrepreneurship: a Nordic spectrum

An article by Nordregio's Senior Research Fellow Katarina Pettersson entitled Support for women's entrepreneurship: a Nordic spectrum published in International Journal of Gender and Entrepreneurship has been chosen as a Highly Commended Award Winner at the Literati Network Awards for Excellence 2013.

The purpose of the paper is to analyse national state support programmes for women's entrepreneurship, in the Nordic countries, from a gender perspective.

Pettersson concludes that all Nordic countries, with the exception of Iceland, have a programme or an action plan to support women's entrepreneurship, but vary in their underlying paradigms and rationales. Norway is placed at one end of the spectrum because its policy programme is most clearly influenced by a feminist empowerment paradigm intended to transform and/or tailor the existing support system through various measures. At the other end of the spectrum is Denmark, which most clearly focuses on economic growth in line with a neo-liberal paradigm. Between these extremes, are Sweden, Finland and Iceland. The analysis reveals that state support programmes, in the name of supporting women entrepreneurs, tend to put women in a subordinate position to men and thereby risk sustaining a male norm.

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