Female entrepreneurship in patriarchal society: motivation and challenges

Hong Bui, Alua Kuan, Tuan T. Chu

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This study explores the lived experience of female entrepreneurs in Kazakhstan to understand their motivations and challenges in light of the limited research availability on female entrepreneurship in a transitional and patriarchal context. Analysis from 25 in-depth interviews with female Kazakhstani entrepreneurs advances institutional theory by developing two frameworks of female entrepreneurial motivations and challenges. The findings stress the importance of institutional settings in shaping the women’s entrepreneurial experiences. They also highlight the significance of regulatory, normative and cognitive dimensions of institutional theory that either enable or hinder women to open and operate their own businesses. Furthermore, the results also reveal the government’s excessive interference in women’s business operations and patriarchal expectations of Kazakhstani society that constraints women from freely engaging in entrepreneurship.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)325-343
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Small Business and Entrepreneurship
Issue number4
Early online date27 Feb 2018
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • challenges
  • female entrepreneurs
  • institutional theory
  • motivation
  • patriarchal society
  • transitional context

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Strategy and Management


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