Risks of Social Entrepreneurship for Islamic Women

Syria Bedouin Woman [Photo by Marc Veraart] (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Another set of risks of social entrepreneurship arise from its potential for social change. While the millennium development goals seek to elevate the status of women around the world, and social entrepreneurship is an excellent way to achieve this, it also poses a threat to established social order in some societies.

For example, when Islamic women are encouraged to become more significant players in business and politics, it can result in some reprisals. Yet this hasn’t stopped women in the region from embracing social entrepreneurship. Not only have they figured prominently in the recent Arab Spring political revolts, but some of these same women activists are starting social businesses in countries like Syria.

One businesswoman in that country, for example, operates a cosmetics firm that only employs young women. It has become a base for political organizing among women and is on the forefront of a drive for women’s rights in Syria.