Encouraging Female Entrepreneurship in Jordan: Environmental Factors, Obstacles and Challenges



The number of female entrepreneurs and their contribution to the economy is steadily rising. Yet research suggests that female entrepreneurs face more challenges and barriers than their male counterparts. This is expected to be even more prevalent in Islamic contexts, which are characterised by conservative and patriarchal societies. In this research, 254 female business students from a private and a public university responded to a questionnaire that gauges their perceptions about potential barriers to entrepreneurship in Jordan and whether the business education they are receiving helps to prepare them for future entrepreneurial activity. Our results help to form a basis on which a deeper understanding of the phenomena can be achieved through more in depth future research. Among the main environmental factors that worry potential female entrepreneurs are the weakness of Jordanian economy, lack of finance, fear of risk, gender inequality and inability to maintain a work and private life balance. Our results also show that students are really not aware of the opportunities available to them and are unable to make a proper assessment. We call on both universities and the Jordanian government to put more emphasis on practical entrepreneurial education and encouraging women to play a much more active role within the workforce.


Entrepreneurship Female Entrepreneurial education Jordan Middle East 



An earlier version of this research was presented at the MAC-EMMT 2014 conference in the Czech Republic and also in part at the ICERI 2014 conference in Thailand. The authors would like to thank the conference participants for the useful comments that have helped to further develop this study and shape this book chapter.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Business AdministrationPrincess Sumaya University for TechnologyAmmanJordan
  2. 2.Lincoln Business School, University of LincolnLincolnUK
  3. 3.The Claude Littner Business School, University of West LondonLondonUK

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