In the name of women? : Feminist readings of policies for women's entrepreneurship in Scandinavia

Pettersson, Katarina and Ahl, Helene and Berglund, Karin and Tillmar, Malin (2017) In the name of women? : Feminist readings of policies for women's entrepreneurship in Scandinavia. Scandinavian Journal of Management, 33 (1). pp. 50-63. ISSN 0956-5221

[thumbnail of In the name of women_postprint]
PDF (In the name of women_postprint)
In_the_name_of_women_postprint.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

Download (306kB)


Policy actors seeking to stimulate entrepreneurship sometimes give special attention to women. It is not given, however, that policy initiatives for women entrepreneurs necessarily contribute to gender equality, to social change for women – such as enhancing entrepreneurship as a means to women's well-being and financial or other independence – or to gendered change of society. We claim that the outcomes depend on the premises behind the policies. We claim that such an outcome depends on the premises behind the policies. The purpose of this paper is to conduct an analysis of the feminist approaches that are taken in policies for women's entrepreneurship in the Scandinavian countries. We analyse how these policies argue for women's entrepreneurship, how they position women, and what assumptions they hold with respect to women and their businesses. We analyse and compare state-level polices that have been implemented by the national governments in three Scandinavian countries; Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, during the period 2005–2015. A comprehensive analytical tool, building on six different feminist theoretical approaches, is developed. We find that, even if a liberal feminist perspective is present, along with elements of other feminist approaches, polices give precedence to economic growth in a non-feminist fashion. Over time, economic growth becomes the key focus, while feminist approaches are silenced. We observe that, in the name of supporting women, the actual aim of policies for women entrepreneurs often seems to be economic growth, and women are seen merely as an untapped, and yet not fully adequate, resource.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Scandinavian Journal of Management
Additional Information:
This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Scandinavian Journal of Management. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Scandinavian Journal of Management, 33, 1, 2018 DOI: 10.1016/j.scaman.2017.01.002
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? entrepreneurship policyfeminist approachscandinaviawomenstrategy and managementapplied psychology ??
ID Code:
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
11 Sep 2018 12:22
Last Modified:
15 Jul 2024 18:17