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Title: Investigating the influence of technology on Saudi women entrepreneurs overcoming gender discrimination
Author: Almarzouki, Rahaf Anas
ISNI:       0000 0004 8508 2745
Awarding Body: University of Reading
Current Institution: University of Reading
Date of Award: 2019
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A small number of empirical studies are found in the literature which discuss entrepreneurship in comparative studies in the Gulf region, and which include Saudi Arabia. However, they tend to target entrepreneurship in general, but refer to male entrepreneurs specifically. The study presented in this thesis aims to develop research on women’s entrepreneurship in Saudi Arabia by understanding the effects of discrimination on entrepreneurial behaviour and investigating the influence of technology on entrepreneurship and gender discrimination. A total of 27 female entrepreneurs from the city of Jeddah, in Saudi Arabia, are interviewed and resources-based theory and institutional theory drawn on to investigate the topic. In addition, feminist theory and a feminist approach are applied throughout the research. Key findings suggest that Saudi women encounter cultural and institutional barriers that hinder entrepreneurial behaviour; cultural barriers having the greatest impact. Personal traits and characteristics possessed by these women greatly support their exploitation of opportunity. While different resources aid their entrepreneurial behaviour, technology has played a role not only in enhancing such behaviour, but also in helping Saudi women entrepreneurs overcome gender discrimination. Further, as research has shown, entrepreneurs have an influence on the economic development of many countries. Thus, it is expected that better understanding of the positive effect that Saudi women entrepreneurs have on the Saudi economy will encourage further research into this demographic and the impacts of gender discrimination on their success. Understanding the gender related barriers helps locate potential solutions that aim to minimise gender discrimination and enhance entrepreneurial behaviour and economic development. Finally, technology is found to be a positive factor for Saudi women and a major tool that has helped them overcome the challenges they face.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral