Beyond necessity and opportunity entrepreneurship: Understanding the motivations behind gluten-free home-based businesses in Saudi Arabia

Alabdelmuhsin, Bshaar (2019) Beyond necessity and opportunity entrepreneurship: Understanding the motivations behind gluten-free home-based businesses in Saudi Arabia. [Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)]

[img] PDF - Registered users only - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
Download (3MB)


When discussing entrepreneurs’ motivations for starting their businesses, it has become common to classify them as either push/necessity or pull/opportunity factors. This simplistic bifurcated depiction has also been widely used by the literature to explain the motives of informal entrepreneurs. For decades, there has been a widely held assumption that informal entrepreneurs operate in the informal economy out of economic necessity to survive, as a last resort in the absence of alternatives. This study evaluates critically this dichotomous representation of informal entrepreneurs’ motives through an examination of the motivations behind gluten-free home-based businesses (GFHBBs) in Saudi Arabia (SA). The majority of HBBs in SA are owned by women entrepreneurs but until now, no studies have sought to understand Saudi women’s motivations for operating in the informal economy in general, and in GFHBBs in particular. This study aims to fill this gap.

This study follows the philosophical paradigm of interpretivism and qualitative methodology. Electronic semi-structured interviews were conducted with 11 Saudi informal women entrepreneurs who owned a GFHBB, and the data was analysed using thematic analysis to support the inductive approach. The finding is that the motivations of GFHBBOs appeared to be complex, dynamic and linked with wider social norms. They were motivated more by non-monetary push/necessity and pull/opportunity factors than by monetary ones. The key push/necessity factors were a health condition and being unsatisfied with the Saudi GF market conditions. These were combined with pull/opportunity factors including having qualifications, support from family, a desire to help the Celiac Disease (CD) community, and personal satisfaction. However, the participants reported that as their businesses developed, their motivations changed towards pull/opportunity factors such as a desire to help the CD community and personal satisfaction.

The outcome reveals that this dichotomy might be a misleading way of categorising entrepreneurs’ motivations. GFHBBOs are motivated most by social and personal factors; they illuminate the fact that informal entrepreneurship is not just about creating income to survive. It is more about a life strategy to achieve self-fulfilment and have a positive impact on quality of life for the community. While this study first tried to track the dynamic nature of GF informal entrepreneurs, due to the limited time of this study, the track model of their dynamic motivations was largely based on their answers at a specific point in time (see Appendix 1). Thus, for future research to examine the dynamic nature of HBBOs’ motives and provide a more accurate dynamic entrepreneurial motives model.

Item Type: Dissertation (University of Nottingham only)
Date Deposited: 13 Dec 2022 14:04
Last Modified: 13 Dec 2022 14:04

Actions (Archive Staff Only)

Edit View Edit View