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Multi-level framework of push-pull entrepreneurship: comparing American and Lebanese women

Philippe Zgheib (LAU, Beirut, Lebanon)

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research

ISSN: 1355-2554

Article publication date: 3 April 2018

Issue publication date: 11 May 2018




American and Lebanese women may feel they have different needs and therefore have different wants. This distinction brings to the fore the importance of an integrative analysis of forced and voluntary (push-pull) factors that influence entrepreneurship. The purpose of this paper is to compare Lebanese and American women to determine their push-pull drive for entrepreneurship. Background: women entrepreneurship is developing in various cultural settings internationally as well as domestically. This research paper attempts to address the inference of autonomy, creativity, and non-conformity in comparing American and Lebanese women entrepreneurs with respect to the push-pull framework of entrepreneurship.


An interpretive analysis of 102 extensive in-depth interviews with women entrepreneurs from the USA and Lebanon allows the exploration of the relevance and salience of the proposed push-pull gender related entrepreneurship framework. Contrasting American and Lebanese women responses explains why the number and rate of women entrepreneurs is greater in the USA than in the Arab world, and attempts to answer why American women are more entrepreneurial and how the environment impacts them.


Emerging patterns of female business entrepreneurship in this analysis demonstrate that forced push entrepreneurship is more prevalent among women from a developing economy such as Lebanon than in industrially advanced USA. By contrast voluntary pull entrepreneurship claims more global validity as discovered in the US business culture. Entrepreneurial dimensions analyzed include autonomy, creativity, and non-conformity.


The dynamic interplay of micro, meso, and macro levels of the integrated framework of gender entrepreneurship is taken into further depth by exploring the gender autonomy debate, and highlighting creativity and non-conformity within the push-pull framework of entrepreneurship. This research contributes to reach scopes of practice and research. At the practice level the results show that the economic need is more than the self-satisfaction need to the initiation of new start-up business enterprises for Lebanese women compared to American women. This research sheds a new light on the balancing act of women entrepreneurs between tradition and modernity, between Oriental and Western cultures, and between Americans and Lebanese Arabs.



Zgheib, P. (2018), "Multi-level framework of push-pull entrepreneurship: comparing American and Lebanese women", International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, Vol. 24 No. 3, pp. 768-786.



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