Religious Role Models for Women Entrepreneurs in Non-Western Contexts: Muslim Kuwait and Buddhist Thailand

Proceedings of the Macromarketing Conference 2017, Queenstown, New Zealand, 19–22 June, 2017 (B. Wooliscroft & A. Ganglmair-Wooliscroft, eds.), pp. 574-582

11 Pages Posted: 17 Jul 2017

See all articles by Athmar Salem

Athmar Salem

The American University of Kuwait - College of Business & Economics

Jitnisa Roenjun

Dhurakij Pundit University, Students

Mark Speece

CMMU College of Management Mahidol University; Thammasat Business School

Date Written: June 21, 2017

Abstract

This discussion looks at how strong spirituality provides role models to women entrepreneurs in Kuwait and Thailand. Although they lag some parts of the world at closing the gender gap (WEF 2016), both Kuwait and Thailand are among the leaders in their respective regions (MENA, ASEAN). However, there is still sometimes resistance to women in entrepreneurial activities from more traditional elements of society. Women, however, can point to religious figures who are well established in traditional society. In Kuwait, one such prominent figure is Khadijah, the Prophet’s first wife, who was a prominent businesswoman. In Thailand, this is Kuan Im (Chinese Kuan Yin), a prominent bodhisattva in Mahayana Buddhism who is a patron of women and, among other professions, merchants. These women religious figures can provide inspiration to women entrepreneurs and provide ample justification that their entrepreneurial activities are not at all contrary to traditional culture.

Keywords: entrepreneurship, women, role models, Islam, Buddhism, Kuwait, Thailand

Suggested Citation

Salem, Athmar and Roenjun, Jitnisa and Speece, Mark, Religious Role Models for Women Entrepreneurs in Non-Western Contexts: Muslim Kuwait and Buddhist Thailand (June 21, 2017). Proceedings of the Macromarketing Conference 2017, Queenstown, New Zealand, 19–22 June, 2017 (B. Wooliscroft & A. Ganglmair-Wooliscroft, eds.), pp. 574-582, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2998714

Athmar Salem

The American University of Kuwait - College of Business & Economics ( email )

Safat
Salmiya, 13034
Kuwait

Jitnisa Roenjun

Dhurakij Pundit University, Students

110/1-4 Prachachuen Rd. Laksi
Bangkok, 10210
Thailand

Mark Speece (Contact Author)

CMMU College of Management Mahidol University

69 Vipawadee Rangsit Road
Samsennai, Phayathai District
Bangkok, Bangkok 10400
Thailand

Thammasat Business School

2 Prachan Road
Pra Nakorn
Bangkok, Bangkok 10200
Thailand

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