Title: Preliminary investigation of Yemeni women entrepreneurs: some challenges for development and barriers to success

Authors: Syed Zamberi Ahmad, Siri Roland Xavier

Addresses: Management & Marketing Department, College of Business Administration, Prince Sultan University, P.O. Box 66833, Riyadh 11586, Saudi Arabia. ' Bank Rakyat School of Business and Entrepreneurship, University Tun Abdul Razak (UNITAR), Razak Campus, Capital Square, Block C&D, No. 8, Jalan Munshi Abdullah, 50100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Abstract: This study aims to examine the role of women business owners in Yemen. It establishes the factors that motivate Yemeni women to establish their business venture, opportunities for growth, and discusses challenges and barriers to becoming successful entrepreneurs. Qualitative research approach is adopted via personal in-depth interviews with Yemeni women entrepreneurs in various businesses. Findings from the study reveal that there are several reasons driving Yemeni women to become entrepreneurs, including the desire to be independent, improve the standard of living, source of income to support family, and gaining control over personal life. The study also highlights several problems and barriers to success for these women entrepreneurs. The overall findings from the study suggest that Yemeni women entrepreneurs have strong entrepreneurial competence but lack the ability, and receive no continuous training and support service to develop their entrepreneurial skills to their full potential. Suggestions concerning how women entrepreneurs in Yemen might be encouraged and questions for future research are presented.

Keywords: women business owners; female entrepreneurs; Arab countires; Yemen; Middle East and North Africa; MENA region; entrepreneurship; entrepreneurial skills entrepreneurial support; entrepreneurial training; small business; barriers to success; entrepreneurial barriers.

DOI: 10.1504/IJESB.2011.041841

International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, 2011 Vol.13 No.4, pp.518 - 534

Published online: 07 Aug 2011 *

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