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Predicting start-up intention among the females of Saudi Arabia using social cognitive theory

Hashem Abdullah Alnemer (Department of Economics and Finance, College of Business, University of Jeddah, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)

World Journal of Entrepreneurship, Management and Sustainable Development

ISSN: 2042-5961

Article publication date: 27 July 2021

Issue publication date: 7 September 2021




The purpose of this paper is to explore the start-up intention among the female population in Saudi Arabia using the social cognitive theory (SCT).


This paper is based on the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor nationwide survey of 1,835 adult females in 2017. This is one of the most comprehensive surveys for assessing the start-up climate across the globe including Saudi Arabia. The data have been analyzed using simple techniques such as chi-square statistics, correlation, and logistics regression. The factors affecting start-up intentions have been identified using the social cognitive theory (SCT).


Out of 1,835 adult females surveyed under Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, 568 of them have reported start-up intention, i.e. 31.9 percent. The profile of females with and without start-up intention has been mapped in terms of age, family size, working status, education level, region, and citizenship to understand the potential group. The results of the correlation coefficient indicated a significant and positive relationship between start-up intention (SI) among females and self-efficacy (SE), career choice (CC), employment generation (EG), and social welfare (SW). The regression estimates proved that both the constructs, i.e. self-efficacy beliefs and outcome expectations of the social cognitive model are positive and significant.

Practical implications

The result of this paper provides empirically meticulous evidence for understanding the start-up intention of females in Saudi Arabia based on the social cognitive theory. This study provides a key strategy for changing the start-up ecosystem for females in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. By focusing on the required knowledge, skill, and experience among females belonging to young, small family size, not-working and having higher family income may provide better start-up intention for all those who are willing to venture into a new business as a career choice, have the intention to create jobs and wish to solve social problems.


Considering the current focus of the government for establishing a knowledge-based economy by promoting new programs in the kingdom for start-ups and SMEs, the findings of this research can be valuable for the rapid acceleration of a new model of growth supported by the grass-root rise of women entrepreneurs.



The author would like to thank GEM 2017 team for providing the valuable dataset for this research. Author also extend the sincere gratitude to the editor and the reviewers for their support and feedback. There is no research funding for undertaking this research.


Abdullah Alnemer, H. (2021), "Predicting start-up intention among the females of Saudi Arabia using social cognitive theory", World Journal of Entrepreneurship, Management and Sustainable Development, Vol. 17 No. 4, pp. 889-906.



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