Entrepreneurship is often considered a male-gendered concept, and carries masculine connotations. However, the importance of women entrepreneurs and their contribution to the economy has recently been realized. Nonetheless, there is limited research about female entrepreneurship and social entrepreneurship in the developing countries context. This paper challenges the implicit masculinism of the traditional entrepreneurship research, and aims to explore the enablers and constraints of female social entrepreneurship within the context of a developing country. Our theoretical focus is based on institutional and feminist perspectives, thus developing logic through reconciling predictions from these two competing theories. This integration contributes by offering novel insights about social entrepreneurship. Utilising an interpretive qualitative research approach, data from in-depth interviews with ten female social entrepreneurs of KP, Pakistan were analyzed using thematic analysis. Empirically, we identify and discuss a number of interesting and explanatory themes affecting female entrepreneurship such as “women empowerment, patriarchal culture, role of culture and societal norms, religious extremism and terrorism, forced entrepreneurs, change creators, unique institutional constraints, institutional corruption and security issues”. The findings highlight female entrepreneurs’ struggle for sustainability, and explain how this occurs. The paper also provides an interesting insight into how context determines social entrepreneurship in KP, Pakistan.
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