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Authors

Anniken Førde

Abstract

This article addresses gender and entrepreneurship in a West African context. Through a case study of the network Les Femmes Entrepreneurs in Ngaoundéré, North Cameroon, gendered spaces and how these are being articulated, maintained and changed are analysed. The Cameroonian female entrepreneurs have a broad understanding of entrepreneurship, including all kinds of improvisation to survive and fight poverty. The network consists of women performing a multitude of activities, using Les Femmes Entrepreneurs as a social and economic safety net as well as to gain access to international financial support. Their entrepreneurial practices challenge established narratives of entrepreneurship. It is argued that telling stories of African women’s lives can contribute to a broader understanding of entrepreneurship processes. Analyses of how they negotiate their private and public spaces reveal gendered aspects of both marginalization and agency. The article argues for a relational perspective on entrepreneurship in order to grasp innovation that traditional entrepreneurship studies tend to miss.

Note on the Author

Anniken Førde, Culture and Planning studies, University of Tromsø, Norway.

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