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Women's rural businesses: for economic viability or gender equality? - a database study from the Swedish context
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Stockholm Business School.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6843-4038
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Number of Authors: 52022 (English)In: International Journal of Gender and Entrepreneurship, ISSN 1756-6266, E-ISSN 1756-6274, Vol. 14, no 3, p. 323-351Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to explore and discuss to what extent and why women's entrepreneurship contributes to rural economic viability and gender equality in an advanced welfare state.

Design/methodology/approach - The authors use detailed register data to explore men's and women's rural businesses in the most common industries for rural women entrepreneurs in the Swedish welfare state. Based on a literature review, the authors develop hypotheses and analyse how family, business and industry factors influence earnings.

Findings - Women's rural entrepreneurship is important for rural viability, as women's businesses provide a wide range of services necessary for life in rural areas. Although women's rural businesses are not significantly smaller than those of men, women's income is lower and more sensitive to business and industry variables. Marriage has positive effects for the earnings of men but negative effects for the earnings of women. The authors argue that the results are contingent on the gendering of entrepreneurship and industries, as well as on the local rural gender contracts. For these reasons, the importance of women entrepreneurs for rural viability is not reflected in their own incomes. Hence, women's rural entrepreneurship does not result in (economic) gender equality.

Originality/value - Entrepreneurship scholars rarely explore women's rural entrepreneurship, and particularly not in the Global North or Western welfare states. Therefore, this empirical study from Sweden provides novel information on how the gender order on the business, industry and family levels influences the income of men and women entrepreneurs differently.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2022. Vol. 14, no 3, p. 323-351
Keywords [en]
Entrepreneurship, Women, Gender, Rural, Local development, Database study, Sweden, Welfare state, Gender equality
National Category
Economics and Business
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-202375DOI: 10.1108/IJGE-06-2021-0091ISI: 000751248400001Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85123384280OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-202375DiVA, id: diva2:1643064
Available from: 2022-03-08 Created: 2022-03-08 Last updated: 2022-08-24Bibliographically approved

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Berglund, Karin

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