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Capabilities and (Missed) Opportunity for Women’s Entrepreneurship in Kuwait

Melissa Langworthy and Tonia Warnecke

Journal of Economic Issues, 2020, vol. 54, issue 2, 404-412

Abstract: Kuwait offers a powerful context for investigating the entrepreneurial cultures developing in Gulf countries in response to the concurrent trends of pursuing economic diversification and efficiency, and the constraints posed by cultural narratives that maintain inequality between the sexes. Bringing a capabilities lens to the analysis of entrepreneurship promotion programs means shifting from a focus on meeting basic human needs to ensuring capabilities development. To begin, we discuss the capabilities approach to entrepreneurship with a focus on the necessity/opportunity classification. Next, we review the entrepreneurship ecosystem in Kuwait, including its focus on opportunity entrepreneurs and the legal, economic, and sociocultural framework in which they operate. After considering the impact of Kuwait’s gender-blind approach on women’s entrepreneurship, we conclude with some suggestions for strengthening Kuwait’s potential for capability expansion through entrepreneurship.

Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1080/00213624.2020.1752105

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