Benchmarking entrepreneurial intentions of women in the United Arab Emirates

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Purpose: Based on the extensive literature review and the research published in the context of Western countries, this study proposes that the entrepreneurship education, participation in entrepreneurial seminars at the universities and their involvement in the activities of innovation and incubation center of the universities may foster entrepreneurial intentions (EIs) among Emirati female graduating students. Design/methodology/approach: To test the study’s hypothesized model, survey data are collected from 283 female graduating students of 19 public and private universities in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The analysis of the data relies upon multiple hierarchical regression and moderation analysis in SPSS. Findings: The results suggest that all three types of educational activities positively influence the women's EIs in the UAE. However, formal entrepreneurship courses are more effective than the participation in seminars and involvement in the activities of innovation/incubation center. The authors also found that perceived social support does not moderate the impact of education on EIs, which means that entrepreneurship education is equally effective in fostering EIs, no matter female students perceive low or high social support. On the other hand, results demonstrate that the level of gender stereotypes negatively moderates the impact of education on it. This implies that if a female student believes in a high gender stereotype, the impact of education on her EIs will be low and vice versa. Research limitations/implications: This study specifically focuses on women entrepreneurship and for the UAE only. However, the results can be generalized for female entrepreneurship, specifically for countries where governments are taking initiatives to foster female entrepreneurship. The study provides specific implications for the UAE public policy government. Practical implications: As the Government of the UAE is keenly interested to boost up the women entrepreneurial behavior, the findings of the study support that in addition to entrepreneurship education, the government should also encourage the universities to arrange entrepreneurship seminars as these seminars also increase the EIs of women. In addition, the government and the universities should also focus on the involvement of women in the incubation centers/innovation park because the incubation centers can provide the practical exposure to the women in the new business start-ups. Originality/value: This research is among the first, which benchmarks women EIs in the UAE.








Benchmarking, Entrepreneurial intentions, Entrepreneurship education, Gender stereotype, Social support

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Open Access