Project summary

Since 1999, more than 1 million immigrants have arrived in Sweden. Economic integration is one of the most important pathways for immigrant integration and inclusion into society. This project addresses some of the most significant challenges to maintaining social and economic sustainability in Sweden; sub-optimal integration of migrants into Swedish economic life. The project uses a newly released survey dataset on immigrants in Sweden, economic life course histories as well as expert interviews. Using a gendered critical entrepreneurship perspective, the aim of this project is to increase our understanding of the obstacles to women migrant entrepreneurship in Sweden, and to translate immigrant resources and skills into productive action, so that economic integration among migrant women will be improved. By focusing on the hidden resources, talents and capabilities of migrant women, we will identify an untapped resource in many Swedish regions. By understanding these issues in a complex, nuanced way and linking this understanding to policies, we contribute to more effective regional development and increased social cohesion. Our project has special relevance to rural and urban areas that struggle to promote economic development and at the same time experience substantial in-migration from non-Swedish backgrounds.


Natasha Webster (researcher) and Karen Haandrikman (senior lecturer)


Formas, 3 million SEK, 2017-2020

Research output

  • Webster, Natasha and Haandrikman, Karen, Exploring the role of privilege in migrant women’s self-employment. Entrepreneurship, Theory and Practice.
  • Webster, Natasha, Migrant women entrepreneurs and emotional encounters in policy fields. Emotion, Space, and Society 37. Doi:
  • Haandrikman, Karen and Natasha Webster (2020), Migrant, woman and business owner: A heterogeneous group with diverse needs. Kulturgeografisk Seminarium 2020:1. Stockholm University: Department of Human Geography.
  • Haandrikman, Karen and Webster, Natasha (2020), Kvinna, utrikes född och företagare – En heterogen grupp med olika behov. I Heijne, Hedvig, Framtidens Chefer - Nyanlända och utrikes födda kvinnors entreprenörskap (pp. 20-54). Stockholm: FORES.
  • Webster, Natasha and Forsberg, Gunnel (forthcoming 2020), Spicy meatballs and mango sylt: Exploring food practices as means to promoting entrepreneurship in rural Sweden. In: Carson, Dean B., Marco Eimermann and Linda Lundmark (eds.), Dipping into the North; living, traveling and working in sparsely populated areas. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Webster, Natasha and Zhang, Qian (2020), Careers delivered from the kitchen? Immigrant women small-scale entrepreneurs working in the growing Nordic platform economy. NORA - Nordic Journal of Feminist and Gender Research 28(2), 113-125. Doi: 10.1080/08038740.2020.1714725.

Popular Science Output

Events, workshops and conference sessions


  • Webster, Natasha: “Migrant women entrepreneurs and emotional encounters in the Swedish entrepreneurial policy field” in the Stream: ‘Gender and Entrepreneurship: Critically Transforming Debate’. Gender, Work & Organization Conference 2021, University of Kent, June 30-July 2, 2021.
  • Webster, Natasha and Kontkanen, Yasemin, “Approaching ‘translocal’: Articulations, Presentations and Interpretations of the Local in Nordic Scholarship on Migrant Entrepreneurship” IMISCOE 2020, Luxemburg, July 1–July 2, 2020 (online).
  • Haandrikman, K. Panel participant in "Könsdiskriminering av nyanlända på arbetsmarknaden". Organized by DUO Stockholm. March 5, 2020.
  • Webster, N. Panel participant in Equality Talks: Fokus på feministisk integration. Moderator: Petra Tötterman Andorff, Generalsekreterare Kvinna till Kvinna. Panel hosted by Kvinna till Kvinna and Natur & Kultur. March 3, 2020. 
  • Webster, Natasha: "By doing these courses, you are doing the right thing": Migrant Women Entrepreneurs, Emotional Citizenry and everyday encounters in the Swedish entrepreneurial landscape. Stockholm Sessions on Migration, 11 February 2020, 13:00-14:30. 
  • Who gets to be an entrepreneur? Feminist perspectives in entrepreneur research", May 10, 2019, Avesta Kommun - Jubileumsnätverksträff - Kvinnors företagande. Speaker: Natasha Webster.
  • "Feminist Economic Geography: Understanding opportunities and obstacles in migrant women's entrepreneurship in Sweden", April 12, 2019, Stockholm University. Genusakademins Mobila Seminarium: Gender research in the “Green house”, learning and sharing. Speaker: Natasha Webster.
  • "Migration and gender in a Swedish Context" - A conference organized by the Francophone embassies in Sweden and Stockholm University, March 7, 2019. Speakers at the conference included Natasha Webster, Karen Haandrikman and Louisa Vogiazides from the Department of Human Geography at Stockholm University, Anna Sander and Josephine Appelqvist of Shelter Talita House and Jeanne Masimango of NoaksArk. H.E Christian Schoenenberger, the Swiss ambassador, opened the conference.
  • "Unpacking privilege: Exploring privileged migrant women’s entrepreneurship in the Swedish Labour Market". Presentation at the Conference on Immigration and Labour Market Integration - A European challenge for the 21st century, November 13-15, 2017, Gothenburg; Poster presentation at the European Population Conference, June 6-9, 2018, Brussels; Presentation at the Nordic Migration Research Conference, August 16-17, 2018, Norrköping; Research seminar at the Department of Social and Economic Geography, Uppsala University, September 28, 2018. Speakers: Natasha Webster and Karen Haandrikman.
  • Migration and social change". Keynote lecture on Mångfaldsdagen (Diversity Day), November 2, 2017 in Sundsvall. Speakers: Karen Haandrikman and Natasha Webster.


Natasha Webster