Most entrepreneurial businesses fail within the first 5 years of establishment. One of the major causes is the lack of leadership skills by the entrepreneurs. The aim of this quantitative study was to define the leadership skills that were required by entrepreneurs in Saudi Arabia in creating and sustaining entrepreneurial business successfully beyond 5 years and to identify the environmental factors affecting entrepreneurship ecosystem in Saudi Arabia. The population of interest in this study was entrepreneurs from Tasamy in Saudi Arabia. Tasamy is a non-profit organization that focuses on supporting entrepreneurship in Saudi Arabia. To answer the research questions for this study, online surveys were gathered from 125 entrepreneurs, who were 23 years or older, and whose businesses have been in operation for at least 5 years or longer in Saudi Arabia. There were more men in the sample (70.4%) than women (29.6%). Ages of the participants ranged from 23 to 29 years (16.0%) to 50 or above (4.0%) with the median age being 34.5 years. All 125 participants but 6 (4.8%) had at least a bachelor’s degree with 40.8% had earned master’s or doctoral degrees. The top 5 leadership skills, which contributed to their entrepreneurial business success included self-confidence, decision-making ability, determination in setting and achieving goals, effective communication, and adaptability to market circumstances. These helped entrepreneurs in Saudi Arabia to create and sustain business beyond 5 years. Additionally, it was found that the Saudi young generation is a major driving force, there is a need to combat corruption, as well as the need for increased cooperation efforts among government, universities, and private sector to foster entrepreneurial activities in Saudi Arabia. These were the main environmental factors affecting the entrepreneurship environment in Saudi Arabia. Although entrepreneurial success depends on both internal and external factors, entrepreneurs who are planning to start or sustain their businesses may find these findings helpful in their pursuit to create and run successful, new businesses.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Businesspeople – Saudi Arabia; Entrepreneurship – Saudi Arabia; Leadership

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

June Schmieder-Ramirez