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Female Entrepreneurship Opportunities And Challenges
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Challenges Facing Female Entrepreneurs In South Africa
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Department of Sustainable Development, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Hamad Bin Khalifa University, Qatar Foundation, Doha P.O. Box 5825, Qatar
Received: 10 February 2022 / Revised: 24 March 2022 / Accepted: 25 March 2022 / Published: 30 March 2022
A Case Study On Women Entrepreneurship And The Opportunity To Promote India’s Development By Transtellar Publications
Economic diversification is key to achieving sustainable economic development. This diversification is especially important for countries that rely on natural resources for their economy, such as Qatar. Private enterprise, mainly through small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), is recognized as a key and effective vehicle for healthy economic diversification, fostering economic development and ensuring equitable sharing and distribution of wealth. Recognizing the vulnerabilities within the current economic model has motivated Qatar to relentlessly diversify away from its heavy dependence on natural gas exports. Such diversified and sustainable development cannot be achieved without the contribution of women, who make up a significant percentage of the educated and talented population in this country. However, despite the visible support provided by the state to promote their active economic participation as part of the Qatar National Vision 2030, women’s full potential to contribute to the social and economic agenda is either hindered or not fully recognized for several reasons. socio-economic factors. There is a lack of studies reporting on the perceived status, challenges and access to necessary resources of women entrepreneurs in Qatar. To address such scarcity, this study is based on a systematic literature review (SLR) as a first step to uncover themes related to women and entrepreneurship by analyzing 23 peer-reviewed articles focusing on the cases of Qatar and the MENA region. This is followed by a qualitative approach to explore and examine current successes and barriers by interviewing 25 actual and aspiring female entrepreneurs in Qatar, as well as 5 incubators and government representatives. In the final phase, based on the approach of design thinking and the application of a gender-aware framework (known as the 5Ms framework), the paper proposes a preliminary conceptual framework for solving the associated obstacles and paves the way for more progressive policies that will meet the needs of women entrepreneurs and further promote sustainable development.
In most cultures – but even more so in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region – women tend to prioritize their role in society as homemakers and caretakers of their families, their children, and even their immediate circles of relatives and friends. As countries aim to establish the sustainable development of their economies by investing heavily in women’s education, health and well-being, women’s contribution to the economy, society and policy-making is increasingly becoming more critical and necessary than before . As women have historically struggled to find equal-paying jobs and stable income positions compared to their male counterparts, their financial situation has further worsened due to the devastating effects of COVID-19 in the workplace, the labor market  and within their family circles. Therefore, referring to an article published by Forbes , single-minded women who want to improve their financial and economic situation can support their lifestyle and society by becoming entrepreneurs. It is agreed that entrepreneurs are key to the economy as their contribution brings a variety of benefits to their societies, including upward social mobility, increased levels of innovation and—in the case of rentier states, i.e. states that rely on natural resources’ income for their economy— shifting this reliance from hydrocarbon-related industries to building a knowledge-based economy [3, 4].
According to renowned theorists of economic development, such as Paul M. Romer who advocated the theory of endogenous growth, the accumulation and generation of knowledge, together with increasing investments in research and development innovation, lead to economic growth through the invention of new ideas as non-competitive goods or goods [ 5]. Therefore, it can be argued that entrepreneurs who are the managers of generating these ideas are a key asset in any society because of the enormous contribution they make through business ventures and opportunity creation. This, in turn, stimulates the economy and makes it more productive and developed. Considering these entrepreneurial advantages and the role of knowledge in stimulating sustainable economic growth, many countries today are trying to implement sustainable development mechanisms to establish a knowledge-based economy . In essence, entrepreneurs create value for themselves and their local societies by creating sources of income, including close relationships that can profit from the business and create jobs , leading to greater sustainability for the wider community.
Like their male counterparts, female entrepreneurs can equally innovate new solutions to various problems in their society, enter national and international markets and contribute to the well-being and economic gains of their family, society and the overall competitiveness of their nations. . As shown by several studies, women entrepreneurs tend to be highly aware of the impact of their ventures on the three dimensions of sustainability: environment, society and economy [8, 9]. Therefore, in addition to starting businesses that preserve local resources, they equally contribute to the creation of diversity in different sectors within their communities; helping society and economy to become more sustainable by involving local human power and increasing social capacity. Furthermore, as recognized in the literature, female entrepreneurship is “considered as one of the drivers of economic and social development” . Suffice it to say that women’s contribution to this sustainable development in their societies leads to growth and development, economic advantages and increases their own self-efficacy and self-sufficiency .
Challenges Faced By Women Entrepreneurs Of Color
In the case of Qatar, this country has relied on the export of natural resources, particularly gas and oil, to fuel its economy as it is the third largest producer of natural gas in the world . However, this model proved to be unsustainable and unreliable in the long term, mostly due to fluctuations in gas and oil prices [4, 11] and the negative effects of certain political tensions in the region. For example, the 2017 blockade caused numerous economic difficulties in the local economy, especially among vital sectors such as trade and imports. (The blockade refers to the Qatari diplomatic crisis in 2017, when three Gulf states: Bahrain, the UAE, and Saudi Arabia, along with Egypt, decided to cut diplomatic and economic ties with the state of Qatar. This crisis was resolved later in 2020–2021 ). Consequently, this country realized the importance of transitioning to a knowledge society and diversifying its economy [13, 14, 15]. Lately, due to the recent measures that followed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the implementation of this shift has been even more persistent. The government of Qatar has shown its commitment to diversifying its economy and continuing to invest by spending on various programs . It has also implemented a significantly extensive infrastructure program costing US$200 billion (equivalent to 121% of 2017 GDP) in preparation for the 2022 FIFA World Cup  , which is also seen as an economic and social driver.
In order to strategically diversify its economy and ensure development and prosperity in the country, the State of Qatar launched, in the first phase, a national vision plan called Qatar National Vision 2030 (QNV 2030) which outlines the pillars, procedures and mechanisms on which this development will be based on . Delving into the economic, social and human development pillars of QNV2030, it is clear that the country aims to establish a diverse economy where entrepreneurship is the backbone that supports innovation in the private sector. As the report states, the country is working diligently to promote a “knowledge-based economy characterized by innovation; entrepreneurship; excellence in education; a world-class infrastructure backbone; efficient provision of public services; and transparent and responsible government” . Along with QNV2030 there were other development plans and designs
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