in: Female Entrepreneurs in the Long Nineteenth Century: A Global Perspective, Jennifer Aston,Catherine Bishop, Editor, Palgrave Macmillan, London , New York, pp.405-432, 2020
This chapter offers a state-of-the-art overview of historical research on women’s roles as business actors in the Middle East, with a particular focus on Muslim women in the late Ottoman Empire. Very few historical studies examine women’s roles in business in the Middle East. After explaining why this has been the case, the chapter presents a survey of the literature on women’s economic activities in the Ottoman Empire before the nineteenth century. This chapter also draws attention to the role of women as founders and managers of an Islamic institution, charitable endowment or waqf, and explores how this institution served as a form of social entrepreneurship, linking revenue-generating activities with the social needs. The chapter concludes with evidence on women’s business involvement during the long nineteenth century.