How women in the UAE enact entrepreneurial identities to build legitimacy

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    This article examines how women enact an entrepreneurial identity as a means to secure legitimacy for their entrepreneurial activity. Using a netnographic analysis of media interviews with women in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), we identify how women construct an entrepreneurial identity. Findings indicate that women highlight micro aspects of their identity, provide both personal and external sources of evidence to substantiate their claims, and adhere to potentially conflicting institutional logics. The findings contribute to knowledge of how entrepreneurship is legitimised and can disrupt institutional arrangements which constrained women. This article provides both a gendered and novel contextual view, adding theoretical depth to contemporary conceptualisations of entrepreneurial legitimacy.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)643-661
    Number of pages19
    JournalInternational Small Business Journal
    Issue number7
    Publication statusPublished - 23 Nov 2021


    • female entrepreneurship
    • identity
    • institutional logics
    • legitimacy
    • media
    • micro-identities
    • Middle East


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