Motivations and obstacles of female entrepreneurship in Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates
: a multiple context perspective

  • Abdulwahab Shmailam

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


    The aim of the research is to explore female entrepreneurs in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, their motivations and the obstacles they encounter. This work takes a multi-level perspective and considers the nuanced difference of these different spacial contexts.

    This work uses comparative case study approach of Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates developed through use of in-depth interviews with female entrepreneurs and the organisations that provide help for them.

    The research indicates that there are gaps between the perceptions of the organisations and the female entrepreneurs themselves particularly in respect to the support needed. In both countries while government support is an important motivation, government procedures and regulations are significant obstacles for female entrepreneurs. Families and fathers have an important place in supporting the female entrepreneur.

    The contextualisation of the female entrepreneurs provides further information to determine additional changes and makes it easier to determine what gaps there are in the current support offered and how this can be addressed.

    This is the first primary research conducted on female entrepreneurs in the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia that examines the motivations and obstacles they face along in which they operate including the effects of Islam. Contextualization provides a deeper insight into the world of the female entrepreneurs in these two countries and what can be done to improve their ability to succeed. This study will be beneficial to academics and researchers in developing further research into female entrepreneurs in Gulf countries.
    Date of AwardDec 2011
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • University of Portsmouth
    SupervisorAshraf Labib (Supervisor) & Zoe Dann (Supervisor)

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