IJGE Special Issue – Julie Weeks
By Jacke Brierton, Women's Enterprise Scotland
When Julie Weeks passed away at the age of 59 in February 2017, we all lost a great international advocate and champion of women’s enterprise. Unique in her ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences, Julie’s work was both influential and impactful. She was a master of data-based research which told an important story – the economic potential of female entrepreneurship across the world.
This special issue of the IJGE commemorates Julie’s work and provides an opportunity to read new and original research, along with one of Julie’s last co-authored papers, to inspire and encourage women’s enterprise researchers, practitioners and policy makers – just as Julie did throughout her working life.
Julie was both a researcher and an activist, fond of repeating Margaret Mead’s maxim that we should, "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." The contributions included within this special issue help us better understand and so change the shape of the social and economic world for women entrepreneurs around the world. As well as new research papers on female entrepreneurship in areas as diverse as UAE and the Baltic States, the issue includes the last published paper Julie co-authored, with her friends and fellow women’s enterprise advocates, Barbara Orser and Allan Riding. ‘The Efficacy of Gender-Based Federal Procurement Policies in the United States’ is reprinted in the special issue by permission from Springer.
When Julie moved from Washington DC to Empire, Michigan in 2006, she launched Womenable – a social enterprise with the mission to improve the environment for women-owned businesses worldwide. The Womenable website, blogs and newsletters provided the most comprehensive overview of research, data and policy developments on women’s entrepreneurship anywhere in the world. The Womenable legacy will now be carried forward by the Women’s Economic Imperative (WEI).
Julie’s family, friends and colleagues are grateful to Emerald for this opportunity to celebrate a unique life and a very special person. The issue will be free access to everyone until the end of April 2019 and can be read here.