Digital entrepreneurship has been described as a “great leveler” in terms of equalizing the entrepreneurial playing field for women. However, little is known of the emancipatory possibilities offered by digital entrepreneurship for women constrained by social and cultural practices such as male guardianship of female relatives and legally enforced gender segregation. In order to address this research gap, this paper examines women’s engagement in digital entrepreneurship in emerging economies with restrictive social and cultural practices. In so doing, we draw upon the analytical frameworks provided by entrepreneurship as emancipation and cyberfeminism. Using empirical data from an exploratory investigation of entrepreneurship in Saudi Arabia, we examine how women use digital technologies in the pursuit of entrepreneurial opportunities. Our findings reveal that women in Saudi Arabia use digital entrepreneurship to transform their embodied selves and lived realities rather than to escape gender embodiment as offered by the online environment.
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McAdam, M., Crowley, C. & Harrison, R.T. Digital girl: cyberfeminism and the emancipatory potential of digital entrepreneurship in emerging economies. Small Bus Econ 55, 349–362 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11187-019-00301-2
- Entrepreneurship as emancipation
- Digital entrepreneurship
- Qualitative methodology
- Saudi Arabia
- Emerging economies