ISLAMIC ENTREPRENEURSHIP: A CASE STUDY OF SAUDI ARABIA
Vol. Volume 15 Number 4 December/2010
RASEM N KAYED
M KABIR HASSAN
This paper examines the relationship between Islamic values and entrepreneurial activity and to establish whether these values can be more effectively tapped into to raise the profile of Islamic form of entrepreneurship. A written, self-administered questionnaire among a random sample of Saudi entrepreneurs in the city of Riyadh was employed to generate descriptive data to assess the views and attitudes of Saudi entrepreneurs toward both conventional and Islamic forms of entrepreneurship. We find that Saudi entrepreneurs perceive themselves to be committed Muslims who consider entrepreneurship a religious and economic duty intended to generate halal (lawful) income to meet their financial obligations and to contribute to the falah (well-being) of the Muslim ummah (nation) in this life and in the hereafter. The findings also negate the prevalent conventional assumption that Islam is intrinsically anti-modernization and anti-development, and that the religiously based Saudi culture would hinder the emergence and the development of a vibrant entrepreneurship culture in Saudi Arabia.
Islamic entrepreneurship, modernization, Westernization, cultural values, falah (well-being)