Sustainable entrepreneurship development in Oman: a multi-stakeholder qualitative study

Ahmad Arslan*, Sami Al Kharusi, Syed Mujahid Hussain, Obinna Alo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Even though sustainable entrepreneurship has increasingly received researchers’ attention in recent years, the topic remains rather under-researched in natural resources’ rich Gulf countries such as Oman. Hence, this paper aims to fill this gap in the literature and, to the best of the authors’ knowledge, is one of the first attempts to assess the state of sustainable entrepreneurship development in Oman from a multi-stakeholder perspective. Design/methodology/approach: This paper uses a qualitative research approach where in-depth semi-structured interviews were undertaken with 12 respondents representing relevant stakeholders of sustainable entrepreneurship development in Oman. The interviewees included four sustainable entrepreneurs, four policymakers and four educationists representing entrepreneurial skills development institutes in Oman. Findings: This papers’ findings highlight that despite some positive improvements, several critical challenges remain, which hinder sustainable entrepreneurship development. The authors further found the role of FinTech to be critical in this concern by all stakeholders, though its usage and acceptance remain low. Also, the costs associated with the post-carbon (sustainable) economy and different profitability evolution have resulted in a slow change in the policy development in this concern. From an educational (skills development) perspective, a lack of context-specific training programmes and culture-based hesitations appeared to be hindering achieving sustainable entrepreneurship possibilities in Oman. The nascent entrepreneurial ecosystem, bureaucracy and lack of human capital (attraction as well as retention) appeared to be significant challenges for entrepreneurs. Finally, the findings highlighted the need for cross-sector collaboration with clear benchmarks for effective policy development concerning sustainable entrepreneurship in Oman. Originality/value: To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this paper is the first academic study explicitly highlighting the state of sustainable entrepreneurship in Oman by incorporating the development initiatives as well as the major challenges in the analysis. Secondly, this study is also a pioneering work specifying the interlinkage between financing (FinTech), policy initiatives and skills development and the development of a sustainable entrepreneurship ecosystem in an under-researched context of Oman. Finally, the transition to a sustainable economy is challenging in natural resources’ dependent economies like Oman, as it needs to be supported by the mindset change in the larger society (legitimacy). In this concern, this paper, to the best of the authors’ knowledge, is one of the first academic endeavours to also specify the role of legitimacy from the perspective of different stakeholders (and larger society) for sustainable entrepreneurship development in such contexts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-59
Number of pages25
JournalInternational Journal of Organizational Analysis
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Feb 13 2023


  • Entrepreneurship
  • FinTech
  • Oman
  • Skills Development
  • Sustainable

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management

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