Entrepreneurial intentions of young women in the Arab world: socio-cultural and educational barriers

Mehtap, Salime and Pellegrini, Massimiliano M. and Caputo, Andrea and Welsh, Dianne H. B. (2017) Entrepreneurial intentions of young women in the Arab world: socio-cultural and educational barriers. International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour & Research, 23 (6). pp. 880-902. ISSN 1355-2554

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Abstract

Purpose: Female entrepreneurship is a growing segment in the context of developing countries and has the potential to become a driving force for economic development. However, research suggests that females are less inclined towards entrepreneurship when compared to their male counterparts. This fact is related to a complex mix of causes such as the belief that entrepreneurship is a male domain, certain conditions within the economic and social environment and a general lack of confidence with regards to succeeding in such activities. Barriers to female entrepreneurship are prevalent in the patriarchal Arab World. This study aims to measure the perceptions of female Jordanian business students with regards to the socio-cultural barriers to entrepreneurship. It also looks at the conduciveness of the education they are receiving in terms of new venture creation.
Design/methodology: A sample of two hundred fifty-four female business students from two universities in Jordan were asked to evaluate various factors within the entrepreneurial ecosystem, including the business education they are currently receiving. A factor analysis has been performed to show which relevant elements may prevent young women from engaging with entrepreneurial activities. Yet, a comparison of perceptions about the educational system has been also presented to understand how a supportive educational environment may affect the previous analysis.

Findings: The results indicated that a strong supportive education system to some extent may reduce the perception of potential barriers for entrepreneurship but the overall impact can be limited. Conversely, an educational system lacking a supportive environment and concrete initiatives can deeply affect and worsen the fears of engaging in entrepreneurship amongst female students.
Originality/value: The role of women in the Arab World is quite marked and the reluctance of women to take a more decisive engagement in entrepreneurship may be reinforced by conservative, societal traditions. A supportive education system has the potential to act as a catalyst to encourage active female participation in the entrepreneurial domain, thus helping to spur economic development in the region

Additional Information:Special Issue: 6th Global Innovation and Knowledge Academy (GIKA) Conference
Keywords:Female Entrepreneurship, Arab Women, Gender Barriers, Education, Entrepreneurial Intentions, Developing Country, Middle-East, bmjdoi
Subjects:N Business and Administrative studies > N120 International Business studies
N Business and Administrative studies > N900 Others in Business and Administrative studies
Divisions:Lincoln International Business School
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ID Code:28016
Deposited On:21 Jul 2017 09:46

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