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Title: Motivations and obstacles of female entrepreneurship in Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates : a multiple context perspective
Author: Shmailam, Abdulwahab
ISNI:       0000 0004 2711 0584
Awarding Body: University of Portsmouth
Current Institution: University of Portsmouth
Date of Award: 2011
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The aim of the research is to examine female entrepreneurs globally and in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to see if there are any similarities and differences they have experienced regarding their motivations and the obstacles they encountered. It also explores the internal and external contexts in which they operate. The major emphasis of this study is on the sociological rather than the individual perspective. Supporting female entrepreneurs is a relatively new concept for government and governmental and private organisations in the GCC. In order to provide support for female entrepreneurs it is important to understand what motivates them to become entrepreneurs and what challenges they face. Understanding the contexts of these female entrepreneurs can also provide a more complete picture. The study was conducted in Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates using qualitative research. In-depth interviews were conducting to find out what motivations and obstacles female entrepreneurs face. The field study is based on face-to-face interviews with two groups: female entrepreneurs and the organisations that provide help for them. Face-to-face interviews were considered preferable because the culture in the GCC prefers face-to-face contact rather than other means of communication. Moreover, using this methodology produces richer information. Another phase of the research was to examine existing literature on female entrepreneurs globally and in Saudi Arabia and the UAE to determine the internal and external contexts they experience. These results were then compared with the results of the face-to-face interviews to give a deeper understanding of female entrepreneurs in these two countries. The research indicates that there are gaps between the perceptions of the organisations and what the women perceived. One example is that the organisations in Saudi Arabia felt a major obstacle was the high expectations of the women and the women interviewed did not express this sentiment at all. What was clear from all interviews in both countries is that while government support is an important motivation, government procedures and regulations are significant obstacles for female entrepreneurs. 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. The information can also be used to provide further academic insight and to help the governments and organisations in both countries to improve the chances of success for female entrepreneurs. This is the first research conducted on female entrepreneurs in the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia that examines the motivations and obstacles they face along with the internal and external contexts in which they operate including the effects of Islam. Contextualisation 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.
Supervisor: Labib, Ashraf Wasfi ; Dann, Zoe Dorothea Hadgley Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Business and Management