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Professor Helene Ahl

Visiting Professor

The Management School



Research overview

Professor Ahl’s research focuses on gender perspectives on entrepreneurship, on entrepreneurship policy and on rural development policy. Past research projects include gender equality in organizations, adult learning, and motivation theory as an instrument of control.


Professor Helene Ahl, based at Jönköping University in Sweden, is a Distinguished Visiting Scholar at Lancaster University Management School. She is a leading researcher in the field of critical, feminist perspectives on entrepreneurship. Her 2006 article “Why research on women’s entrepreneurship needs new directions” which challenges received entrepreneurship research practices has become one of the most cited in the field.

Research Grants

Current projects include:

  • A study on the role of women’s entrepreneurship for rural development, financed by the Kamprad Family Foundation (≈ GBP 425 000)
  • A study on why mothers of young children start their own business, financed by the Swedish Science Foundation (≈ GBP 385 000)
  • A comparative Sweden-Canada study of how civil society organizations work to integrate Syrian refugees, financed by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (CAD 194 500). The project is based at McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada.
  • Professor Ahl leads the research area Lifelong Learning at Jönköping University, which comprises ten scholars from education, management and psychology. The group was in 2018 awarded a grant from the Jönköping University Foundation (≈GBP 940 000) for creating a research centre on education leadership.


Phd in Business Administration, Jönköping University, 2002

MBA, Anderson Graduate School of Management, UCLA, 1985

MSc in Education, Lund University, 1984

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