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ESBRI organizes international conference on women’s entrepreneurship – policy in focus

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The world's premier conference on women's entrepreneurship took place this year in central Stockholm. Photo: Johannes Äng.

111 researchers and other stakeholders from 21 countries gathered in Stockholm on June 1-2, to present and discuss the latest research focusing on women’s entrepreneurship.

The now annual Diana International Research Conference (DIRC) was back in Stockholm this weekend, with Esbri and Babson College as co-hosts.

– It is fantastic to see how the seed that we at Esbri planted in 2003 together with the five founders of the Diana project has developed into one of the foremost research conferences on entrepreneurship and the absolute foremost with a focus on women’s entrepreneurship, says Esbri’s Managing Director Magnus Aronsson.

Magnus Aronsson. Photo: Caisa Rasmussen.

The first conference was held in Stockholm over the midsummer weekend in 2003 in a small format. 21 years later, the Diana network has grown significantly – from 23 researchers from 16 countries to over 700 researchers from 47 countries.

– I could never have imagined that what we did then would develop into what we see today.

This year, 166 abstracts (summaries of research presented by researchers at the conference) were submitted for assessment. This is a new record.

– According to the senior researchers who reviewed them, the quality and breadth of the contributions bodes well for the future of research on women’s entrepreneurship.

Several PhD students and relatively new researchers attended the conference. The positive and encouraging culture that the five founders brought is still very much alive.

– This allows the next generation of new researchers to be supported and encouraged by the senior researchers. So the future of both the Diana conference and research on women’s entrepreneurship in general is promising, says Magnus Aronsson.

About Diana International Research Conference
Since its inception in 2003, the research conference has been held, in addition to Sweden (4 times including 2024), in various locations around the world, including Australia, France (on-line during the COVID-19 pandemic), Canada, Ireland (2 times), Spain, Thailand, USA (4 times). In 2025 it will be held in New Zealand and in 2026 in South Africa. The founders of the Diana Project in 1999, who then co-founded the Diana International Network with Esbri, were the five leading American professors; Candida Brush, Nancy Carter, Elisabeth Gatewood, Patricia Greene and Myra Hart.

The Diana International Research Institute at the Frank & Eileen Center for Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership at Babson College, USA, has been home to the Diana International Research Conference for a number of years.

The organization of the 2024 conference was supported by several universities – Bentley University, De Paul University Driehaus College of Business and their Coleman Entrepreneurship Centre and Women in Entrepreneurship Institute, Nord University Business School, Prince Mohammad Bin Salman College and Suffolk University; a publishing house – Emerald Publishing and Riksbankens Jubileumsfond.

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