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Research article2020Peer reviewedOpen access

The Gendering of Context: A Fresh Perspective of Women Social Enterprise in Pakistan

Yunis, Mohammad Sohail; Hashim, Hina; Sajida, Tayyeb


Entrepreneurship has been anticipated as a male “gendered connotation” and is considered a “masculine concept”. There is very limited academic work pertaining to women entrepreneurship and social entrepreneurship in the context of developing countries. Our research theoretically contests the explicit masculinist traditional entrepreneurship perspective and aims to investigate the drivers and hurdles of women social entrepreneurship in a developing country context (Peshawar, Pakistan). This research integrates and capitalizes on a theoretical lens grounded in “new institutional theory” and “feminism perspectives”. Hence, this research contributes by emerging a useful multilayer theoretical logic through integration of the two competing theoretical perspectives and adds new insights to entrepreneurship theory and practice. We argue that women’s entrepreneurial choices revolve around and are shaped by a complex interplay between socio cultural contexts. Capitalising on an interpretive, exploratory and qualitative research methodology, we have collected empirical data through semi structured in-depth interviews from ten women social entrepreneurs of Peshawar, KP, Pakistan and analysed and presented through qualitative thematic analysis. Empirically, this paper identifies how women entrepreneurs exercise agency to negotiate their roles within the household and the society and debates on various interesting perspectives that relates to the women entrepreneurship such as “women empowerment, patriarchal culture, religious extremism and terrorism, change creators, institutional corruption and security issues”. The paper also provides insights on how gendering of context determines social entrepreneurship in KP, Pakistan. 


Gender; context; social entrepreneurship; institutional theory; feminist theory

Published in

Business & economic review
2020, Volume: 12, number: 1, pages: 25-48

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Social Work
    Gender Studies
    Sociology (excluding Social work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)

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