This paper aims to utilize a mixed-embeddedness approach to examine how state welfare policies, employment conditions and gender norms shape orientations to divisions of business and domestic labor among Czech copreneurs, i.e. romantic couples involved in businesses together.
Twelve copreneur couples were interviewed; male and female partners were interviewed separately. Women’s narratives are centered in analyzing motivations for business, divisions of labor, orientation to business/family and state policies. After detailing women’s orientations, correspondence with male partner orientations is considered.
Analysis reveals how state policies, employment conditions and gender norms inform copreneur narratives about business and family life in the Czech Republic. Female respondents expressed three orientations: business as opportunity, business for family and business/home as teamwork. Women tended both business and family, whereas most male partners focused exclusively on business.
Although the small, purposive sample was not representative of all Czech copreneurs, findings detail how social context frames business/family dynamics.
This mixed-embeddedness perspective demonstrates how gender norms, state taxation and welfare shape the organization of Czech copreneurships and can support or discourage women’s entrepreneurship.
Mechanisms producing gender inequality in copreneur businesses are revealed.
Findings identify connections between female copreneur business/family orientations and the context of gender regimes, state policy and employment practices in a post-socialist country. Also revealed are changing orientations across family and business stages.