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Entrepreneurship as a career choice for Emirati women: a social cognitive perspective

Khyati Shetty (University of Fraser Valley, Abbotsford, Canada)
Jason R. Fitzsimmons (Manipal Academy of Higher Education Dubai, Dubai International Academic City, Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
Amitabh Anand (Excelia Business School, La Rochelle, France) (CERGAM, Aix Marseille Univ, Aix-en-Provence, France)

Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development

ISSN: 1462-6004

Article publication date: 4 August 2022

Issue publication date: 27 February 2023




The purpose of this study is to utilize social cognitive theory to investigate how social comparison orientations, individual cognitive, and environmental factors influence females' decisions to pursue self-employment in the United Arab Emirates In doing so, the authors explore how the entrepreneurial self-efficacy of Emirati women also influences individuals towards entrepreneurship.


Using a survey instrument administered in both English and Arabic, data were collected from one hundred and three (103) employed Emirati women and eighty-four (84) self-employed Emirati women who were taking part in workshops conducted by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce.


The results from the study suggest that the social environment is a contributing factor toward self-employment, with higher levels of social comparison orientation increasing the likelihood of Emirati women being self-employed. Consistent with prior research, the authors also find that internal cognitive factors also play a significant role, with Emirati women possessing higher levels of entrepreneurial self-efficacy and having a higher likelihood of being self-employed.


This is one of the few studies aimed at exploring the role of social comparison orientation as a factor in motivating females towards entrepreneurship in the Middle East and North African (MENA) region.



The authors like to thank the Editor in Chief, Prof. Patrick J. Murphy, and the anonymous reviewers for their comments and suggestions. The authors also like to thank the SKARP network platform for conneting us to this project.


Shetty, K., Fitzsimmons, J.R. and Anand, A. (2023), "Entrepreneurship as a career choice for Emirati women: a social cognitive perspective", Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, Vol. 30 No. 1, pp. 58-77.



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