Preliminary Investigation Of Emirati Women Entrepreneurship In The UAE: Motivating Factors, Challenges And Government Initiatives
Mohammad Rehan Shahnawaz
Keywords: UAE, Emirati Women, Entrepreneurship, Preliminary Investigation, Exploratory, Content Analysis.
Abstract: Purpose: The purpose of this research is to conduct an in depth preliminary investigation of the Emirati Women Entrepreneurship in the UAE in terms of the factors motivating the Emirati women to engage in the entrepreneurial activities, challenges and issues faced by them in that process, and initiatives taken by the government of UAE in overcoming those challenges and in encouraging, promoting and safeguarding their interests. Methodology: This research is an exploratory one due to the fact that the topic of the research strongly requires an in depth analysis or investigation of the underlying motivating factors, challenges and issues, and the government initiatives taken on behalf of Emirati women entrepreneurs. The research has used qualitative content analysis technique in which the existing literature (secondary data) on women and Emirati women entrepreneurship was gathered and discussed to serve the purpose of the research, such as from other published researches, internet searches and books. Discussions/Findings: The research explored an array of factors motivating the Emirati women towards entrepreneurship and the challenges and issues they come across in that process. The motivating factors were divided into positive and negative factors, with main emphasis on the positive factors. Among the positive motivating factors were the: Emiratization, change in the organizational culture and beliefs, relaxation of social and cultural structures, inde-pendence, and self-improvement and development. The negative motivating factors were the: necessity, unacceptable working conditions, inflexible work hours, wage gap between males and females and job frustrations. The major challenges and issues they usually come across are: traditions, cultural, religious and social restrictions, lack of managerial experience and basic business knowledge, low self-confidence and determination, male prejudice, stereotyping and preconception, minimal networking, gender based promotional decisions, lack of interpersonal support from the husbands and family members, family responsibilities and obligations, and difficulties in accessing capital from the banks. Some of the UAE government initiatives taken on their behalf were the UAE Women’s Organizations/Associations, Emirates Business Women Councils (EBWC), Mohammad Bin Rashid Establishment for Young Business Leaders and Dubai Women Establishment. Overall, it’s been found that the Emirati women have great potential to contribute successfully towards every profession, but just because of the gender differences, they experience innumerable challenges that restrict them to think big or develop a career for themselves in entrepreneurship or in some other field. The study will be of great significance on the behalf of Emirati women entrepreneurs as well as for the purpose of better policy formulation and initiatives.
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