Networking for Venture Creation and Development: Exploring the Activities of Female Technology Entrepreneurs in Jordan

Wejdan Alakaleek, Sarah Cooper, Adam Bock

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Objectives: This research explores the networking activities of female entrepreneurs in Jordan as they create and develop technology ventures in Jordan. It seeks an understanding of the characteristics, content and dynamic nature of network ties of female technology entrepreneurs in Jordan.

Prior work: Creating and growing a venture requires an abundance of diverse resources, many of which are accessed through network connections. Previous research suggests that, to succeed in traditionally male-dominated technology sectors, female entrepreneurs need to be well-integrated into networks with diverse network ties: it also raises questions concerning the nature and dynamic processes surrounding female entrepreneurs’ network development. Most work has been undertaken in western contexts, leaving a marked absence of studies in other contexts, such as the Middle East where women are a growing force but the socio-cultural and business environment is different.

Methods: The study adopts a qualitative approach which, through semi-structured in-depth interviews, explores the dynamic nature of the female entrepreneur’s network in technology-based ventures in Jordan. A total of 14 female technology entrepreneurs participated in this study, which utilised a two-stage, semi-structured interview approach. The women were chosen for interview on the basis of several conditions that have theoretical and empirical importance for this study.

Result: The paper reports on the types of formal ties (e.g. professional ties with other entrepreneurs, CEOs, mentors, support organisations, professionals, companies and business partners) through which the entrepreneurs obtained knowledge, social and financial capital to start and grow their businesses. It also explores informal network ties (e.g. family, friends and previous work ties) which provided these capitals as well as emotional support. Unlike studies of western entrepreneurs which show a tendency to rely on female-dominated networks at start-up, Jordanian women’s network ties appear to be largely male-dominated from the start.

Implications: This research is generating insights into the experience of the female technology entrepreneur in Middle Eastern societies where the socio-economic context in which women build their careers and ventures is different from western environments. Its findings have implications for understanding the female entrepreneur’s network from which she draws resources and its role in venture formation and growth.

Value: The research has practical value for policymakers who work to support female entrepreneurship in technology-based ventures, where an understanding of how the network of the female technology entrepreneur is developed is necessary to aid design of appropriate strategies/mechanisms for supporting the female entrepreneur as she develops her venture.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication37th ISBE Research Conference
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Event37th ISBE Research Conference - Manchester, United Kingdom
Duration: 4 Nov 20146 Nov 2014

Conference

Conference37th ISBE Research Conference
CountryUnited Kingdom
CityManchester
Period4/11/146/11/14

Keywords

  • network
  • female entrepreneurs
  • new technology firms
  • Jordan

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