Joanne Duberley, University of Birmingham, UK
Ute Pascher, University of Duisburg, Germany
Tadeusz Stryjakiewicz, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poland


Although there has been structural change in European regions e.g. in political or cultural terms, there have also been areas of convergence. Since the seventies, economic development in Europe has been marked by a de-industrialisation process and tertiarisation. As part of its actions to support the growth of the European economy and its competitiveness, one of the foci of the European Commission has been to promote innovation, SME’s and entrepreneurship. Such a focus has been renewed in the Europe 2020 agenda. However, a recent survey by the Eurobarometer shows that only 45% of EU citizens would like to be self-employed, compared with 55% in the United States. In addition, only 39% of women declared having similar aspirations. In this European network on “Entrepreneurship, Gender and Structural Transformation” researchers from different disciplines (sociology, gender studies, economics, and geography, business & regional studies) and across several ESF-countries are going to meet to exchange scientific ideas and empirical findings on gender aspects of entrepreneurship with specific regard to the role of women as entrepreneurs in structural regional transformation. We aim to embed this discussion in the European development from an industrial to a service society in the last century. The Research Network will have a specific focus on the structural (economic) change which has been taking place in the more industrial regions of Europe (e.g. in Upper Silesia/ Poland, the Ruhr Area/ Germany or West Midlands/ U.K.) and explore issues around the extent to which specific restructuring of these regions may have influenced, amongst other things, women, labour markets and work organisation, assuming that the impact on women is different than on men.



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