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Research article2019Peer reviewedOpen access

Embeddedness in context: understanding gender in a female entrepreneurship network

Roos, Annie


In this paper I argue that through a process of embeddedness in context, a female entrepreneurship network is able to challenge gender structures. I investigate how a female entrepreneurship network is constructed and how they reinforce and possibly challenge existing gender structures. From an ethnographic study, three processes in the female entrepreneurship network were identified: making proper entrepreneurs, building relationships and engaging in change. In the different processes the women involved in the network reinforced gender structures through compliance with a masculine discourse of entrepreneurship, but also challenged gender structures through questioning this discourse. Through becoming embedded in their local community, the women entrepreneurs were able to take charge of the development of the network and challenge gender structures as a result of questioning the masculine discourse of entrepreneurship. This implies an interplay between embeddedness and gender as two separate but dependent processes. Linking together gender and embeddedness elicits a new take on the way female entrepreneurship networks are constructed and how they could advance gender equality within entrepreneurship. Consequently, this paper emphasises a need for further examination of embeddedness within gender and entrepreneurship research.


Context; embeddedness; ethnographic study; gender; women's entrepreneurship

Published in

Entrepreneurship and Regional Development
2019, Volume: 31, number: 3-4, pages: 279-292

    Sustainable Development Goals

    SDG5 Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
    SDG10 Reduce inequality within and among countries

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Business Administration

    Publication identifier


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