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Self-employment activities concerning women and minorities: their s uccess or failure in relation to social citizenship policies


The project focuses on the evaluation of social citizenship policies in relation to self- employment activities implemented by member countries of the European Union (EU).

Our resarch consists of comparative case studies in six European countries, in northern and in southern Europe. We will concentrate on the study of four metropolitan regions, i.e. the Rhein/Main Region in Germany, Athens in Greece, Stockholm for Sweden, and London for the UK. In Denmark, the semi-metropolitan region of Aalborg and Aarhus will be the research site. In Italy we will examine the self-employment activities in the semi-rural region of Calabria.

In this research, we will examine those policies aiming to promote self-employment as prominent active social integration strategies targeted to women and minority groups.

The comparative analysis of empirical data collected in six EU member states of good and bad practices of policies that have supported or hindered successful self-employment will be conducted through a methodology of successive case studies.

Our research is founded upon the explicit hypothesis that active social integration policies aiming at the promotion of self- employment of unemployed women and migrant minority members can only be successful if their specific socialisation under unstable biographical and work conditions is recognized and compensation is provided for their discontinuous working careers. These deficits are hypothesized as the principle cause also of business failure and require interventions.

The empirical methodology of this project will challenge this hypothesis through the systematic collection of life-histories and work-histories from samples of women and migrants who are most likely to be threatened by exclusion and, at the same time, have shown a strong motivation to self-employment through participation in programmes geared to active social integration. We will match these samples with samples of migrants and women who have become successfully self-employed without the benefit of these programmes and policies. Through this challenge testing of our hypothesis, we aim finally to formulate concepts for effective social policies related to efforts of members of socially vulnerable groups. These efforts to "create a job for themselves" exploit the resources and potentials of individuals and of local regional structures to overcome social exclusion.


Johann-Wolfgang-Goethe Universität Frankfurt
5,Robert Mayer Strasse 5
60054 Frankfurt-am-main

Participants (7)

11,Fibigerstræde 13
9220 Aalborg
Centre for Research on Women Issues "DIOTIMA"
2,Kekropos 2
105 58 Athens
Beteendevetarhuset Hus Y
901 87 Umeaa
University of Crete
74100 Rethimno
University of Dundee
United Kingdom
DD1 4HN Dundee
University of Greenwich
United Kingdom
Avery Hill Road
SE9 2HB London
Università degli Studi di Reggio Calabria
Via Brodolini
87036 Arcavacata Di Rende Cosenza