Tandem Project & Alumni Project

Leading the Way: Arab and German Female Entrepreneurship

Empirical Study

Various stakeholders including governments, non-profit organizations, researchers, and individual stakeholders are interested in facilitating the development of supportive entrepreneurial ecosystems. However, growth of female entrepreneurship has lagged those of men in many developed and in most developing countries. Understanding potential roadblocks that female entrepreneurs face is key to overcome this imbalance.

Cross-country comparisons are essential for in-depth analyses of the development of female entrepreneurship in different institutional, legal and socio-cultural environments. However, there are few data sets related to female entrepreneurship with comparable cross-country data. The lack of comprehensive gender-disaggregated data on business entry and ownership presents a significant obstacle to the global and diversified analysis of female entrepreneurship. Due to less standardized data, comparative studies are hard to conduct and the diagnostics of gender gaps in entrepreneurship in countries of the Arab world are not possible to the same extent as in Germany.

This tandem project has addressed the described research gap by assembling a brief overview of the existing data sets and indicators commonly used to measure female entrepreneurship and by analysing their limitations. To tackle this issue, the project partners analysed data on female entrepreneurship in Germany, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Oman and Qatar. Together, they have acquired new data through content analysis of relevant archival documents, survey instruments and interviews, generating new insights into female entrepreneurship. Within the project, they have identified the barriers and constraints female entrepreneurs face, while also learning about best practice examples and role models for how to address these barriers to improve women’s entrepreneurial activity and boost women entrepreneur’s outcomes. AGYA alumna Dr. Olfa Khelifi and AGYA member Dr. Luise Fischer have purposely compared countries in Northern Africa and the Arab peninsula, as they provide differences in economic performance and the socio-cultural role of women. In this vein, they have identified success stories of female entrepreneurs and gaps in existing evidence that suggest avenues for future research and provide recommendations for female entrepreneurship education.


Project Cover


Disciplines Involved
International Economics, Human Geography, Engineering, Environmental Studies
Project Title
Leading the Way: Arab and German Female Entrepreneurship
Funding Scheme
Tandem Project & Alumni Project
Countries Involved
Germany, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia