Engaged Sisters: studying the entrepreneurship and innovation support system from ‘within’
2013 (English)Conference paper (Refereed)
Entrepreneurship and innovation support has grown into large institutions in a society that cherishes an enterprising culture. Individuals are encouraged to be entrepreneurial and innovative in general, and to start up their own companies in particular. To support individuals in their business creation processes, policy stresses the need of providing with measures. Together these measures comprise a support system, directed towards supporting new and established entrepreneurs. It has however been recognized that the entrepreneurship and innovation public support system is highly gendered, favoring men and male businesses, whilst programs targeting women put the onus on individual women to start and grow businesses. As well it has been recognized that the policy support system tends to exclude ‘othered’ groups rather than including them in enterprising activities. The subtext of entrepreneurship support points to how some people “are” entrepreneurs, whilst others need support in order to become more entrepreneurial. Hence, there is a need to change the support system of entrepreneurship and innovation since it tends to disempower rather than to empower ‘othered’ groups in society.
“Sisters in Business” make up an organization of wo/men entrepreneurs who have joined forces to address this need. Their vision is that entrepreneurship should reflect the society at large. During the last year they have therefore taken several initiatives to make this happen and is today one of the support organizations in a medium sized Swedish town. In this paper three Sisters are working together with a researcher within this area. Together we have formed a group of “engaged sisters´”. In our dialogue the dichotomy between ‘practice’ and ‘theory’ have temporarily dissolved in favor of creating narratives, from episodes, experiences and the everyday life of sister´s, to illustrate how the support system works from ‘within’. This led us to questioning whether the ‘support system’ really is a support system, or something else? Furthermore, this insight made it apparent that there exists ‘other’ support system, tough concealed and silenced. Finally, suggestions are proposed for how ‘practitioners’ can work together with ‘academics’ to change the rules of the game.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Research subject Business Administration
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-98717OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-98717DiVA: diva2:685132
22nd Nordic Academy o Management Conference, Reykjavik, 21-23 august, 2013