Women’s participation and activation of their role in societies are central goals among the UN’s global aims. This research accomplished the following objectives: first, expands the existing knowledge of women’s intentions and their startup desirability for small projects; second, explores the perceived outcomes; and third, develops an action plan based on the current constraints women face when leading small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) projects. Data were collected from an online questionnaire of 433 entrepreneurs based in Saudi Arabia (26.3% university staff, 23.1% project starters, 22.9% bank loan holders, 16.2% university students, and 11.5% leaders). The partial least squares path modeling (PLS-SEM) was used to analyze the collected data. Findings confirmed that women entrepreneurs’ preferences for small projects were positively influenced by their intentions, education, personality traits, and types of SME projects. Preferences for small project startups were found to have a direct psychological, social, and economic effect. Moreover, results showed the suggested relevance of the combined model in predicting the preferences of women entrepreneurs starting SMEs (explained variance = 72%). This paper’s conceptual framework contributes to current literature on women’s entrepreneurship in a leading Arab country. The authors developed an action plan to bridge the gap between women’s entrepreneurship in practice and theory. This action plan is the first exertion to help policymakers in Arab countries better control constraints encountered by women entrepreneurs.


women entrepreneurs, SMEs, desirability, personality traits, Arab countries

Chinese Abstract






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