Empowerment and entrepreneurship: A theoretical framework

Haya Al-Dajani, Susan Marlow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

186 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to develop an empirically informed conceptual framework to analyse the gendered relationship between empowerment and entrepreneurship contextualised within the lives of displaced Palestinian migrant women operating home-based enterprises in Amman, Jordan. Design/methodology/approach: A longitudinal qualitative study was undertaken during which semi-structured in-depth interviews were regularly conducted with 43 women producing high-quality traditional embroidered goods within home-based enterprises. The empirical material was utilised to inform and illustrate the creation of an empowerment framework. Findings: Entrepreneurship is popularly presented as an individually focused economic undertaking. However, this paper demonstrates it is also a socio-politically situated activity; within this particular context, marginalised subordinated women were empowered through their home-based enterprises. Originality/value: This paper offers a gender informed conceptual framework to inform the analyses of empowerment and entrepreneurship. The discussion describes the necessary processes for development goals to be realised, and explains how traditionally subordinated women can utilise enterprise to contribute to social change. In so doing, the proposed conceptual framework acts as a theoretical illustration of the gendered relationship between empowerment and entrepreneurship.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)503-524
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour & Research
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2013


  • Empowerment
  • Entrepreneurialism
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Gender
  • Homeworking
  • Jordan
  • Middle East region
  • Palestine
  • Subordination
  • Women

Cite this