Title: Prioritising the factors promoting innovation in Emirati female-owned SMEs: AHP approach

Authors: Huda Al Matroushi; Fauzia Jabeen; Sherine Abdel All

Addresses: College of Business Administration, Abu Dhabi University, P.O. Box 59911, Abu Dhabi, UAE ' College of Business Administration, Abu Dhabi University, P.O. Box 59911, Abu Dhabi, UAE ' College of Business Administration, Abu Dhabi University, P.O. Box 59911, Abu Dhabi, UAE

Abstract: The purpose of this study is to identify and prioritise the various factors linked to innovation in nascent and established SMEs owned by Emirati women in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Emirati female entrepreneurs (n = 30) were selected from the various emirates based on their nascent or established business stage. An AHP technique was used to analyse the weight of critical factors. Collectively, the respondents prioritised innovation strategy, opportunity recognition, finance and motivation as the main criteria that promote innovation in Emirati women-owned SMEs in the UAE. Raising and managing internal and external finances were also seen as a barrier women face that would prevent them from starting an innovative business. The outcome of the study is expected to provide policymakers with explicit ideas about the importance of the variables linked to innovation in Emirati female-owned SMEs. This will help them to systemise and prioritise the critical, decisive innovation development factors in Emirati-owned SMEs, which will eventually increase the participation of Emirati women in the economic growth of the UAE. This study is the first of its kind to present an AHP model and is a relevant contribution to both the literature and the practice of innovation.

Keywords: AHP; Emirati; SMEs; female entrepreneurs; innovation; United Arab Emirates.

DOI: 10.1504/IJEIM.2018.091768

International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management, 2018 Vol.22 No.3, pp.220 - 250

Available online: 24 Apr 2018 *

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