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The impact of gender and culture on networking and venture creation: An exploratory study in Turkey and MENA region

Tugba Kalafatoglu (ESADE Business School, Ramon Llull University, Barcelona, Spain)
Xavier Mendoza (ESADE Business School, Ramon Llull University, Barcelona, Spain)

Cross Cultural & Strategic Management

ISSN: 2059-5794

Article publication date: 2 May 2017

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Abstract

Purpose

To date, little research has been focused on the nature and dynamics of female entrepreneurial networking activity. Thus, the purpose of this paper is to examine how gender and culture affect business creation, how women perceive social capital, and how important their personal networks are for their businesses, especially in the context of patriarchal societies.

Design/methodology/approach

Semi-structured interviews were conducted with women entrepreneurs living and operating businesses in Turkey and in four countries of the Middle East and North African region, namely, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, and Egypt.

Findings

The results indicate that being a woman entrepreneur in a highly patriarchal society limits entrepreneurial activities due to culture and social norms. However, networking appears as the key factor for these women entrepreneurs to overcome the barriers that they face, such as access to capital, financial information, resources, and new business opportunities.

Research limitations/implications

This study has limitations that tend to be commonly found in exploratory studies, so you cannot make generalizations. However, the findings lay the groundwork for future studies to examine the role of networking activity in female entrepreneurship in the context of patriarchal societies.

Practical implications

The findings are helpful for policymakers and other social groups interested in improving the conditions for female entrepreneurship. Governments and other economic actors need to provide training in both management and networking skills, encourage local businesses and associations to provide their venues for networking opportunities, and also provide support to women business organizations.

Social implications

Women’s entrepreneurship is growing, but still there is a scarcity of scholarly literature on the women entrepreneurs and their entrepreneurial activity.

Originality/value

This research provides empirical evidence of the nature and dynamics of female entrepreneurial networking activity in the context of patriarchal societies.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors are grateful to Rosalie Tung, Editor of CCSM, and Susan Gupta, Guest Editor of the CCSM Special Issue, and to two anonymous reviewers for providing very useful comments. This research has been developed with the support of the Observatory of Spanish Multinational Companies (OEME), a joint initiative of ESADE, ICEX España Exportacion e Inversiones and EY (Ernst & Young), and financial support from the Secretariat of Universities and Research, Ministry of Economy and Knowledge, Government of Catalonia (2014FI_B2 00012).

Citation

Kalafatoglu, T. and Mendoza, X. (2017), "The impact of gender and culture on networking and venture creation: An exploratory study in Turkey and MENA region", Cross Cultural & Strategic Management, Vol. 24 No. 2, pp. 332-349. https://doi.org/10.1108/CCSM-04-2016-0090

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited