Egyptian Women Entrepreneurs: Challenges to Opportunities

Nermin Elkafrawi, Gerard McElwee, Deema Refai

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


The contribution of women entrepreneurs to economic development, poverty reduction and social welfare is a well-recognized fact in the entrepreneurship literature (Gries and Naude, 2010; Naude´, 2010). Various benefits can be obtained from encouraging women in launching more start-up businesses and supporting others to grow their pre-established ventures, e.g. creating more and better jobs, diversifying economies into modern sectors, promoting women’s empowerment, provides opportunities for economic growth and a focus on reducing women’s social exclusion (Mondiale, 2007; Brush et al., 2009; Ghouse et al., 2017). Acknowledging this fact, the number of female entrepreneurs worldwide has undergone a noticeable increase over recent decades (Pitoska and Charitoudi, 2011). According to the GEM Women Report (2017), around 163 million women are starting their own businesses in 74 countries all over the globe, and an average of 111 million women has already established ones. Paradoxically, the percentage of male small businesses owners (72%) still far exceeds the number of female owners (26%). Plethora of research identify various challenges hindering rural women entrepreneurs (RWEs), and consequently limiting their contribution in rural growth (Pitoska and Charitoudi, 2011; Saxena, 2012; Ganapathy and Mayilsamy, 2013). Considering the fact that women constitute nearly half of the rural population, we can argue that targeting rural development cannot be attained without eliminating those challenges and promoting entrepreneurship in rural areas, irrespective of gender. Based on the above, this paper is mainly triggered by: our realization about the importance of RWEs as active development agents, and our conviction that RWEs are still an untapped resource in development.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Council for Small Business (ICSB)
Subtitle of host publication2019 Congress Proceedings
PublisherInternational Council for Small Business
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781732498051
Publication statusPublished - 4 Aug 2019
EventThe 64th ICSB World Congress, Egypt: The Future of Entrepreneurship: What's Next? - Cairo, Egypt
Duration: 16 Jun 201921 Jun 2019
Conference number: 64


ConferenceThe 64th ICSB World Congress, Egypt
Abbreviated titleICSB 2019
Internet address


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