Parental Leave and Business Start-Up among Women in Sweden

Magdalena Markowska, Lucia Naldi, Helene Ahl

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The design of the Swedish welfare system makes employment the preferred career option. Yet, the number of women who are mothers of small children who choose to start a business is increasing in Sweden.

Our research, based on both population statistics and in-depth person-centered life story interviews shows that the parental leave acts as a trigger for these women’s decision because it breaks the everyday behavior pattern allowing women to reflect, scan the environment and plan potential venture. Simply put, the family-friendly policies offer entrepreneurship-relevant resource—time—yet the design of the welfare system is also consequential for the timing of their choices.

Research output