A Study on Micro Women Entrepreneurs in UAE

  • A. Srinivasa RaoEmail author
Part of the Contributions to Management Science book series (MANAGEMENT SC.)


Nurturing entrepreneurial activity in growing economies is vital as it leads to improved economic efficiencies. The role of women entrepreneurs in the economic development is very crucial. The major objective of the study is to understand issues and challenges being faced by micro level women entrepreneurs in the UAE region, including their educational and training requirements. A sample of 200 micro women entrepreneurs from all the Emirates were identified through convenient sampling method, but only 121 (60.5% response rate) micro women entrepreneurs have responded from five Emirates (e.g., Dubai, Fujairah, Sharjah, Ajman, and Abu Dhabi). There were no responses from the other two Emirates (e.g., Ras-Al-Khaimah and Umm Al Quwain), as the micro women entrepreneurs under the study were not interested to participate in the survey. It was found that the micro women entrepreneurs under the study from the UAE are facing majorly two major challenges, viz: (i) Cost of Operations and (ii) Competition. As far as the ‘Cost of Operations’ are concerned, the major component goes to cost of rentals and leased accommodations. From the study, it was also observed that they completely lack knowledge and awareness on competitive strategy. It was also found that the micro women entrepreneurs under the study have no formal education and training on business management (or) entrepreneurial process. The study was original and carried out in UAE region in all the Emirates. It has some implications on Government policies with regard to micro women entrepreneurs.


Women Entrepreneur Emirate Dubai Sharjah Ajman Fujairah Abu Dhabi Micro Training 



I am highly thankful to my Ph.D. Scholar, Ms. Sheetal Desai and also MBA student, Ms. Fathima Fatiha for providing data support for my research paper


  1. Al Turki N, Braswell R (2010) Businesswomen in Saudi Arabia: characteristics, challenges, and aspirations in a regional context. Monitor GroupGoogle Scholar
  2. Baud I, Mahgoub HK (1999, June) Towards increasing national female participation in the labour force: research report 2. Centre for Labour Market Research and Information, TanmiaGoogle Scholar
  3. Baughn CC, Chua BL, Neupert KE (2006) The normative context for Women’s participation in entrepreneurship: a multicountry study. Entrep Theory Pract 30(5):687–708CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bird B (1988) Implementing entrepreneurial ideas: the case for intention. Acad Manag Rev 13(3):442–453CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bruni A, Gherardi S, Poggio B (2005) Gender and entrepreneurship: an ethnographical approach. Routledge, LondonGoogle Scholar
  6. Brush C (2006) Women entrepreneurs: a research overview. In: Basu A, Casson MC, Wadeson N, Yeung B (eds) The Oxford handbook of entrepreneurship. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  7. Brush C, Carter N, Gatewood E, Greene P, Hart M (2006) The Diana project international in growth-oriented women entrepreneurs and their businesses: a global perspective. Edward Elgar, London, pp 3–22CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Capogrossi D (2007) Four keys for personalizing distance learning gender and informal economy: developing, developed and transition countries. ICEA and Prentice Consults, LagosGoogle Scholar
  9. Carree M, van Stel A, Thurik AR, Wennekers S (2002) Economic development and business ownership: an analysis using data of 23 OECD countries in the period 1976-1996. Small Bus Econ 19(3):271–290CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Cope J, Watts G (2000) Learning by doing: an exploration of experience, critical incidents and reflection in entrepreneurial learning. Int J Entrep Behav Res 6(3):104–124CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Cutting B, Kouzmin A (2000) The emerging patterns of power in corporate governance: back to the future in improving corporate decision making. J Manag Psychol 15(5):477–511CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Dafha K (2008) Managerial performance and business success: gender differences in Canadian and Israeli entrepreneurs. J Enterp Commun People Places Glob Econ 2(4):300–331Google Scholar
  13. DeTienne D, Chandler G (2004) Opportunity identification and its role in the entrepreneurial classroom: a pedagogical approach and empirical test. Acad Manag Learn Edu 3(3):242–257CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Dickens L, Watkins K (1999) Action research: rethinking. Manag Learn 30(2):127–140CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Haan HC (2002, March) Report on a survey of UAE nationals in micro, small and medium enterprises. policy research paper no.6. Centre for Labour Market Research and Information, DubaiGoogle Scholar
  16. Haan HC (2004) Small enterprises: women entrepreneurs in the UAE. Labour market study no. 19. Centre for Labour Market Research and Information, DubaiGoogle Scholar
  17. Hayton JC, Kelley DJ (2006) A competency-based framework for promoting corporate entrepreneurship. Hum Resour Manag 45(3):407–427CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Hessels J, van Stel A (2011) Entrepreneurship, export orientation and economic growth. Small Bus Econ 37(2):255–268CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Hodgetts RM, Kuratko DF (1992) Effective small business management, 4th edn. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, San DiegoGoogle Scholar
  20. Hofstede G (1991) Cultures and organizations: software of the mind. McGraw-Hill, LondonGoogle Scholar
  21. Jong JPJ, Hartog DND (2007) How leaders influence employees’ innovative behavior. Eur J Innov Manag 10(1):41–64CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Katz J (2007) Education and training in entrepreneurship. In: Baum JR, Frese M, Baron R (eds) The psychology of entrepreneurship, SIOP organizational frontier series. Lawrence Erlbaum, New JerseyGoogle Scholar
  23. Kyrö P (2001) The reality of women entrepreneurship—questioning Men’s criteria for success. Presented in Babson conference, Jönköping, Summer 2001Google Scholar
  24. Kyro P, Carrier C (2005) Entrepreneurial learning in universities: bridges across borders. In: Kyro P, Carrier C (eds) The dynamics of learning entrepreneurship in a cross-cultural university context. University of Tampere, Research Centre for Vocational and Professional Education, Tampere, pp 14–43Google Scholar
  25. Lau VP, Shaffer MA, Au K (2007) Entrepreneurial career success from a Chinese perspective: conceptualization, operationalization and validation. J Int Bus Stud 38(1):126–146CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Lee DY, Tsang E (2001) The effects of entrepreneurial personality, background and network activities on venture growth. J Manag Stud 38(4):583–602CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Lerner M, Brush C, Hisrich R (1997) Israeli women entrepreneurs: an examination of factors affecting performance. J Bus Ventur 12(4):315–339CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Lewin K (1946) Action research and minority problems. J Soc Issues 2:34–46CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Man TWY (2006) Exploring the behavioural patterns of entrepreneurial learning: a competency approach. Educ Train 48(5):309–321CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Manev I, Manolova T (2010) Entrepreneurship in transitional economies: review and integration of two decades of research. J Dev Entrep 15(1):69–99Google Scholar
  31. Manolova TS, Carter N, Manev I, Gyoshev B (2007) The differential effect of men and women entrepreneurs’ human capital and networking on growth expectancies in Bulgaria. Entrep Theory Pract 31(3):407–426CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Markman GD (2007) Entrepreneurs’ competencies. In: Baum JR, Frese M, Baron R (eds) The psychology of entrepreneurship, SIOP organizational frontier series. Lawrence Erlbaum, New JerseyGoogle Scholar
  33. McIntosh JC, Islam S (2010) Beyond the veil: the influence of Islam in female entrepreneurship in a conservative Muslim context. Int Manag Rev 6(1):102–108Google Scholar
  34. McNiff J, Whitehead J (2003) Action research: principles and practice. Routledge, LondonGoogle Scholar
  35. Minniti M, Lévesque M (2010) Entrepreneurial types and economic growth. J Bus Ventur 25(3):305–314CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Mulder M, Lans T, Verstegen J, Biemans H, Meijer Y (2007) Competence development of entrepreneurs in innovative horticulture. J Work Learn 19(1):32–44CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Nelson C (2004) UAE national women at work in the private sector: conditions and constraints. Centre for Labour Market Research and Information, Tanmia, DubaiGoogle Scholar
  38. Nicholas A, Victoria P-E (2010) Incentives and female entrepreneurial activity: evidence from panel firm level data. Int Adv Econ Res 16(4):371–387CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Pitelis C (2005) On globalization and governance: some issues. Contrib Polit Econ 24:1–12CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Reijonen H (2008) Understanding the small business owner: what they really aim at and how this relates to firm performance. Manag Res News 31(8):616–629CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Rhoudi-Fahimi F, Moghadam VM (2004) Empowering women, developing society: female education in the Middle East and North Africa, Population Reference Bureau. Accessed 24 Feb 2007
  42. Sandberg J (2000) Understanding human competence at work: an interpretative approach. Acad Manag J 43(1):9–25Google Scholar
  43. Shane S, Venkataraman S (2000) The promise of entrepreneurship as a field of research. Acad Manag Rev 25:217–226Google Scholar
  44. Swiercz PM, Lydon SR (2002) Entrepreneurial leadership in high-tech firms: a field study. Leadersh Org Dev J 23(7):380–389CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Tan J (2008) Breaking the ‘bamboo curtain’ and the ‘glass ceiling’: the experience of women entrepreneurs in high-tech Industries in an Emerging Market. J Bus Ethics 80(3):547–564CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Tan W, Tay R (1994) Factors contributing to the growth of SMEs: the Singapore case. In: Proceedings of 5th ENDEC world conference on entrepreneurship, pp 150–161Google Scholar
  47. Terjesen S, Jolanda H, Li D (2013) Comparative international entrepreneurship: a review and research agenda. J Manag 20(10):1–46Google Scholar
  48. Thompson JL (1999) A strategic perspective of entrepreneurship. Int J Entrep Behav Res 5(6):276–296CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Trompenaars F (1994) Riding the waves of culture. Irwin, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  50. United Arab Emirates Ministry of Information and Culture (2006) UAE yearbook 2006. Abu Dhabi, p 239Google Scholar
  51. Wesselink R, Biemans HJA, Mulder M, van den Elsen ER (2007) Competence based VET as seen by Dutch researchers. Eur J Vocat Train 40:38–51Google Scholar
  52. Wong PK, Ho YP, Autio E (2005) Entrepreneurship innovation and economic growth: evidence from GEM data. Small Bus Econ 24(3):336–350CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Young JE, Sexton DL (1997) Entrepreneurial learning: a conceptual framework. J Enterpr Cult 5(3):223–248CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Yusuf A (1995) Critical success factors for small business: perceptions of South Pacific entrepreneurs. J Small Bus Manag 33(2):68–73Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Management, Faculty Incharge—Centre for Innovation, Incubation & Entrepreneurship (CIIE)BITS PilaniDubaiUnited Arab Emirates

Personalised recommendations