UAE Universities Boost Entrepreneurial Intentions of Their Students
18 February 2019
Dr. Anne van Ewijk and Dr. Sophia Belghiti-Mahut, from ADU’s College of Business, have published a paper on gender effects in UAE entrepreneurship education in the International Journal of Gender and Entrepreneurship (SCOPUS, ABCD).
The principal aim of this project, involving twelve instructors from three universities in the UAE, was to evaluate the impact of entrepreneurship education on students’ entrepreneurial intentions. In particular, the researchers strived to examine whether entrepreneurship education could alleviate gender stereotypes, which negatively affect female entrepreneurship worldwide.
Based on the answers from 246 students at the start and at the end of their course, the researchers found that female students feel more inhibited towards becoming entrepreneurs compared to their male counterparts. However, entrepreneurship courses raise entrepreneurial aspirations for all students and there is no significant gender difference at the end of the course.
These positive findings confirm that universities can make a strong contribution to the UAE vision for 2021 by nurturing the entrepreneurial spirit among future female professionals. The study provides an incentive for UAE policy-makers to help increase the offer and quality of entrepreneurship education at university level, and recommends that university administrators find ways to overcome likely opt-out by female students when entrepreneurship courses are elective.