This study aims to provide a better understanding on how Pakistani women entrepreneurs experience cultural and societal barriers in KP (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), Pakistan, and how they confront those barriers as pioneering women entrepreneurs in such a conservative society. Furthermore, it focuses on the factors that motivate them to opt for entrepreneurship. A single unique case study of a strong pioneering KP woman entrepreneur has been selected by the researcher for this study through purposive sampling. The data is collected through semi-structured interview. Thematic analysis has been used to develop insights on how KP, Pakistani women business behaviors are determined by culture, family, religion and society institutionally. The theoretical framework of this study combines structuration with North's formal and informal institutions concept. The findings of the study offer some theoretical explanations for the role of institutions in a conservative context like KP. It also provides an insight to the drivers at work, and the challenges and constraints faced by the women of this society. It also highlights how these challenges are negotiated. Results also imply the role of entrepreneurship as emancipatory for women living in such strong conservative patriarchal culture.
Keywords: Women social entrepreneurship, institutional theory, women empowerment, context