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Quadruple Helix as a Way to Bridge the Gender Gap in Entrepreneurship: The Case of an Innovation System Project in the Baltic Sea Region
Abstract and Figures
In most developed economies there exist a clear gap between men and women in terms of prevalence of entrepreneurial activity. The gender gap can be traced back to the general perceptions of gender in society, where entrepreneurial venturing is culturally defined as a masculine activity. In this paper, we analyse how such gendered norms are brought into Triple Helix innovation system models, and identify roles and challenges of NGOs in the alternative conceptualization of Quadruple Helix. Based on an exploratory case study of a Quadruple Helix innovation system project in the tourism industry, we find that NGOs may fill four roles in bridging the gender gap: (1) collaborative platforms for women-led SMEs, (2) legitimating and linking women-led SMEs to governmental and academic actors, (3) developing competences and process innovations related to entrepreneurial venturing outside traditional Triple Helix constellations and (4) carrying individual and societal aspects of entrepreneuring.
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