Broken Silence: A Commentary on Women's Entrepreneurship in the United Arab Emirates
The International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Volume 13, Number 2, May 2012, pp. 81-92
12 Pages Posted: 4 Mar 2013 Last revised: 1 Aug 2013
Date Written: May 1, 2012
Drawing upon the scant literature on women's entrepreneurship in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), this paper explores the motivations of women business owners in the country based on 10 in-depth interviews. Considering the patriarchal socio-cultural environmental context associated with the Middle East, a number of surprising dynamics are highlighted in the specific case of the UAE. Growing numbers of women graduates and businesses are observed, which suggests that the historical silence among this group is gradually being broken and that changes in government policies and the socio-cultural environment are the key drivers behind this evolution. The paper will benefit both scholars and government agencies interested in the dynamics of women's entrepreneurship in the UAE and, by extension, the Arab world.
Keywords: Women's Entrepreneurship, Women Business Owners, Silent Minority, United Arab Emirates
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