Actioning sustainability through tourism entrepreneurship: Women entrepreneurs as change agents navigating through the field of stakeholders

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Karatas-Ozkan M., Tunalioglu R., Ibrahim S., ÖZEREN E., Grinevich V., Kimaro J.

Central European Management Journal, 2024 (ESCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2024
  • Doi Number: 10.1108/cemj-12-2021-0159
  • Journal Name: Central European Management Journal
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), Scopus
  • Keywords: Bourdieu, Entrepreneurship, Gender, Sustainability, Sustainable Development Goals
  • Dokuz Eylül University Affiliated: Yes


Purpose: Sustainability is viewed as an encompassing perspective, as endorsed by the international policy context, driven by the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We aim to examine how women entrepreneurs transform capitals to pursue sustainability, and to generate policy insights for sustainability actions through tourism entrepreneurship. Design/methodology/approach: Applying qualitative approach, we have generated empirical evidence drawing on 37 qualitative interviews carried out in Turkey, whereby boundaries between traditional patriarchal forces and progressive movements in gender relations are blurred. Findings: We have generated insights into how women entrepreneurs develop their sustainability practice by transforming their available economic, cultural, social and symbolic capitals in interpreting the macro-field and by developing navigation strategies to pursue sustainability. This transformative process demonstrates how gender roles were performed and negotiated in serving for sustainability pillars. Research limitations/implications: In this paper, we demonstrate the nature and instrumentality of sustainable tourism entrepreneurship through a gender lens in addressing some of these SDG-driven challenges. Originality/value: We advance the scholarly and policy debates by bringing gender issues to the forefront, discussing sustainable tourism initiatives from the viewpoint of entrepreneurs and various members of local community and stakeholder in a developing country context where women’s solidarity becomes crucial.