The influence of cultural constraints on entrepreneurial motivations: Exploring the experiences of Muslim women entrepreneurs in Pakistan

Noor Muhammad, Farid Ullah, Rob Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


This article explores the influence of cultural constraints on entrepreneurial motivations for women entrepreneurs of the Muslim faith. A qualitative approach is taken by drawing from extraordinarily rare interviews with 17 women entrepreneurs who run businesses in the open market in the Northwest region of Pakistan. Push and pull factors were examined in the context of cultural constraints using the lens of post-materialism and dissatisfaction theories. The findings reveal that some entrepreneurs are pulled into entrepreneurship to give something back to local youths and to improve their life chances and/or reduce hardship. In relation to the push factors, some entrepreneurs decided to do something about the harsh circumstances they found themselves in to demonstrate their agency. All were aware of the cultural constraints around them and are highly motivated to overcome these as role models for future generations and to hopefully achieve parity with male peers. This research contributes to the existing literature by providing new insights to the reader in extending the post-materialism and dissatisfaction theories for women Muslim entrepreneurs in Pakistan. Furthermore, it also demonstrates how cultural constraints related to family issues motivate women in a male-dominated society to become entrepreneurs.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation
Early online date27 Dec 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 27 Dec 2023

Cite this