Integration på egen hand En studie av invandrade kvinnoföretagare i Sverige
Sammanfattning: The principal aim of this thesis is to discover and analyse the motives that make immigrant women start their own businesses in Sweden and to investigate whether this is a way to achieve integration in working life. The empirical material consists of two types of interviews. One type consisted of interviews with five experts on labour market issues, and the other of interviews with 16 female entrepreneurs of Iranian, Chilean and Turkish origin having their own business in the Greater Stockholm region. Results from the first set of interviews indicate that female immigrants who independently start their enterprise rely mainly on their own resources of power and abilities. They are either women with class resources such as higher educations, previous work experience, language abilities and economic savings, or young women with certificates from high schools or universities. The social environment where they grew up, the gender structure and gender roles in the family before and after immigration and time of residence in Sweden also influence the extent to which women immigrants can act independently. According to the experience of the experts, the motives for starting their business are either different structural reasons, e.g. unemployment, lack of suitable or well-paying jobs, lay-offs etc, or personal reasons such as having a meaningful occupation, to support the family, to earn money of their own, to be independent from men and strive for a better standard of living etc.Results from the second set of interviews indicate that the most important resource these women have used when establishing their businesses is class resources such as education and adequate training, different types of work experiences, human capital and in addition to this economic savings. For many of the women in this sample different structural reasons, like unemployment, lack of good job opportunities, discrimination on work places, merge with personal reasons such as strivings to achieve independence, being one’s own boss, to realize one’s plans and ambitions, when starting their business. Independent entrepreneurship is a good way for immigrant women to be integrated in working life especially if they start within certain branches. These are branches in which the women have appropriate university education or vocational training, previous work experience or which correspond to their personal interests. In addition immigrant women become more integrated if an education received abroad is treated as equivalent to the parallel Swedish education or degree. A further factor promoting integration is if they can fully exploit their capacities when developing their own businesses. These conditions help them to feel much more satisfaction in working life as women identify themselves with their actual profession and feel that they have found the “right place” for themselves in the society.
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