Female Micro-Entrepreneurship: The Key to Economic Growth and Development in Islamic Economies

  • Alina Zapalska
  • Jim Stodder
  • Erik Wingrove-Haugland


This chapter compares an Islamic economic system to capitalist and socialist economic systems, focusing on property rights, incentive mechanisms, interest rates, decision-making structures, and mechanisms for information and coordination. Islamic entrepreneurship has received little attention; recognizing the role of entrepreneurship in Islamic economies is crucial for growth and development. The chapter examines the theoretical foundations of Islamic entrepreneurship, and explores ways entrepreneurship can stimulate economic growth and development in predominantly Muslim nations. Building a new class of female micro-entrepreneurs should be an important element of economic development in Muslim nations. The role of female entrepreneurs in development should not be underestimated as women can be fully independent and contribute to the welfare of the Islamic economy. The chapter emphasizes that Islamic micro-finance is a missing component of Islamic banking. With micro-financing, Islamic banks can finance female micro-entrepreneurs, leading to long-term growth. Although well-established in Islamic countries, women’s entrepreneurship has not reached its potential due to high barriers to obtaining financial capital; most startup capital for Islamic female entrepreneurs comes from personal savings, family, and friends. Muslim nations should help build efficient micro-financial systems with competitive and diverse financial service providers, especially for women.


Islamic economic system Female entrepreneurship Microfinance Economic growth 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alina Zapalska
    • 1
  • Jim Stodder
    • 1
    • 2
  • Erik Wingrove-Haugland
    • 1
  1. 1.U.S. Coast Guard AcademyNew LondonUSA
  2. 2.Rensselaer Polytechnic InstituteHartfordUSA

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