Title: Woman entrepreneurship programme breaks government's gender neutrality in Finland

Authors: Paula Kyro, Kaisa Hyrsky

Addresses: Helsinki School of Economics, Finland. ' University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland

Abstract: Since 1970s the women entrepreneurship studies have indicated that for women starting and running the business is different arena than for men. Not only horizontal and vertical segregation but also the aspirations and expectation between men and women business owners are different. However, these differences have rarely had any impact on governments| decision making. More often formal institutions apply gender neutrality in their policy-making. This study suggests that the lenses of the post-modern feminism provides a perspective to women entrepreneurship that might be far more effective for supporting woman entrepreneurship as well as providing education, training and support systems for it. The study presents how gender lenses provided an opportunity to break gender neutrality in Finnish government|s policy programme. In practice this meant gender specific activities in education, training and support systems. This anticipates that by giving up the gender neutrality might improve equality.

Keywords: women entrepreneurship; gender equality; gender neutrality; government policy; female entrepreneurs; post-modern feminism; Finland.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEIM.2008.023830

International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management, 2008 Vol.8 No.6, pp.607 - 623

Available online: 14 Mar 2009 *

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