Problems & Prospects of Women Entrpreneurship

Last Updated: 17 Aug 2022
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In Bangladesh, a large number of women work in the informal sector, but the real value of their participation and contribution is not recognized in the society. Differences and inequalities between women and men exist in terms of opportunities, rights, and benefits. There are various constraints in the way to the up-gradation of their skills and enhancement of their productivity. These include poor access to market, information, technology and finance, poor linkages and networks with support services and an unfavorable policy and regulatory environment.

However, it is heartening to note that despite many barriers, a new women’s entrepreneur class in the Small and Medium sector has developed in the country taking on the challenge to work in a male dominated, competitive and complex economic and business environment. It has been found that at present women entrepreneurs constitute less than 10% of the total business entrepreneurs in Bangladesh whereas women in advanced market economies own more than 25% of all businesses.

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Inspire of these, in Bangladesh, not only have the women’s entrepreneurship improved their living conditions and earned more respect in the family and the society, but they have also contributed to business and export growth, supplies, employment generation, productivity and skill development . our study includes introductory part that contain introduction about women entrepreneur , scope of women entrepreneurs, objective of our study, methodology, limitation of report that we found to prepare our report on problem and prospectus of women entrepreneur in Bangladesh.

In second part, we explain literature review that contain problem and prospectus of women entrepreneurship in Bangladesh. To explain these problem and prospectus of women entrepreneurship. We also explain scope, source, characteristics, growth, profile of some successful entrepreneur, their barriers and the way to overcome the barriers and future scope of women entrepreneur in Bangladesh. In third part, we explain our findings from surveying some women entrepreneurs around us. Here we express our findings by some descriptory relevant points.

Concluding some of our findings, recommendation in our respects and I tried to set a figure that I've found in this study of problems and prospects of women entrepreneurship in Bangladesh. There adding some recommendation to the study. I finish my summary.


Bangladesh is still a poor country, but she is rich in human resource. In Bangladesh women constitute slightly less than half the population. The majority of them are underprivileged, under nourished, illiterate and poor. There are not enough employment opportunities for women.

Therefore, economic activities, through self-employment have become essential for potential working women. As a matter of fact, women entrepreneurship or “women in business” is a very recent phenomenon in Bangladesh. Although women are taking to entrepreneurship in many challenging fields, their activities in Bangladesh are not that extensive. In spite of fewer opportunities, many women have succeeded in business, but they are still very small in number. But it is true that they are overcoming their obstacles and build a strong contribution in our national economy. Objective of the study

The overall objective of the study is to identify the problems and prosperity of women entrepreneurship in Bangladesh. The objective of our study is described in below: a) To identify the present status of women entrepreneurs in different sectors and the role of women entrepreneurs in the national economy, b) To determine the women entrepreneurs profile, their success indicators with reference to a particular sector c) To examine and assess the socio-cultural/educational and legal barriers to women's entry into enterprise, as well as performance and growth in entrepreneurship ) To examine the issues need to address to increase access to economic opportunities and formal inputs which promote entrepreneurship development. e) To review the current policies towards gender equality and identify gaps; f) To examine how women’s business associations can strengthen women’s position in business and international trade promotions; g) To indicate areas in need of further research with understanding of economic contributions by female enterprise owners; h) To provide strategic directions on how to promote and strengthen potentiality of women entrepreneurs in Bangladesh.

Scope of the study The scope of the present study covers women entrepreneurs of 34 districts of Bangladesh, irrespective of their ownership pattern and type of enterprises. The study also makes an attempt to project a broad view of the status of the existing women entrepreneurs in Bangladesh. Some important factors such as personal, social, psychological and economic-factors have been examined in order to understand whether these facilitate or constrain women to emerge as successful entrepreneurs.

The study also throws light on women entrepreneurs’ strength and weakness that have impact on entrepreneurship on the socio-economic status of both urban and rural women and their living conditions. Methodology Selection of Study Area: He sample data is collected randomly from different parts of Bangladesh. Sampling Design: Random sampling procedure was followed to select the sample. the number of total sample is 10. Sample was taken from Dhaka and Chittagong City. The Questionnaire: A set of questionnaire was prepared to conduct the field survey.

The questionnaire contain some relevant question about women entrepreneurship and their problem and prospectous in this field. Method of Data Collection: Our method of data collection are based on:

  • Primary Data
  • Secondary Data
  • Questionnaire Survey
  • Questionnaire Interview
  • Website Limitations of the study

Since the study is based on problems and prospectus of women who engaged in Bangladesh, it has some obvious limitations. These are as follows: *

  1. Data collection through primary source or through interview was a time consuming matter. The respondents sometimes were found non-cooperative with the interviewers.
  2. Present study covered women problems and prospectus in entrepreneurship sector. Large scale business had been kept outside the purview of the present study.
  3. Gathering information from some of the women entrepreneurs was sometimes very difficult and extremely time-consuming. They did not give enough time to the interviewers.
  4. Further, it was also found that women entrepreneurs have a tendency to disclose lower income and higher expenses. They think that this would help them to get more credit. This is considered to be a limitation to the research study.
  5. Contacting women entrepreneurs to gather information was a very difficult task.
  6. The study was conducted among women entrepreneurs all around Bangladesh where all the Upazillas were not covered and as such this may not reflect the total picture of Bangladesh relating to women entrepreneurs.
  7. In view of time and resource constraints, conducting a comprehensive study in full depth and width has not been possible.

Literature review

Concept of women entrepreneurship Women Entrepreneurs may be defined as the women or a group of women who initiate, organize and operate a business enterprise.

Government of India has defined women entrepreneurs as an enterprise owned and controlled by a women having a minimum financial interest of 51% of the capital and giving at least 51% of employment generated in the enterprise to women. Like a male entrepreneurs a women entrepreneur has many functions. They should explore the prospects of starting new enterprise; undertake risks, introduction of new innovations, coordination administration and control of business and providing effective leadership in all aspects of business. It is noticeable that entrepreneurship development and empowerment are complementary to each other.

Women empowerment depends on taking part in various development activities. In other words, the involvement of women in various entrepreneurial activities has empowered then in social, economic and cultural fields. The power of an access to taking decisions has increased for women in Bangladesh, within as well as outside the family. Yet, women entrepreneurship development varies across rural and urban areas B. Growth of women entrepreneurship in Bangladesh: Ten years ago, a majority of the women workers in Bangladesh worked in the informal sector.

They were mostly unpaid and did not contribute directly to formal economic activities. However, the demographic structure of the labour participation in Bangladesh is witnessing a remarkable change. An increasing number of women are working in the formal sector as entrepreneurs and paid workers, a situation that was not seen in the past. This gradual transformation of women’s participation from the informal to the formal sectors has resulted in an upward mobility in the social and economic status of women, especially that of poor women in the country.

In order to gain an understanding of the current situation, it becomes important to trace the factors that are contributing towards a progressive transformation in the status of women in the country. Since the early 1990s, the growth of manufacturing industries provided women an opportunity to enter the formal labour market. A large number of rural women migrated to cities at a very young age, thereby reducing women labour in agriculture in rural areas. A new generation of women workers emerged in the country that was financially independent and lived alone in urban areas without male supervision.

Moreover, expansion of credit facilities gave women access to funds. Initially, women had access to less than one percent of the credit in the formal banking sector in Bangladesh. However, with the advent of the micro finance sector, many women had the opportunity to actively participate in income generating activities. Women, who mostly participated in non-farm activities and homestead farming, engaged in small-scale production, especially in rural areas. On an average, women earn 40% less than men in Bangladesh and have limited ownership over assets.

Although there is a persistent problem of under-remuneration of women employed in formal sector activities, the potential of women’s economic contribution is slowing gaining recognition. Along with the expansion of the manufacturing sector and credit facilities, the growth of the Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) has had a positive impact on women’s empowerment. A good number of NGOs engaged women not just in implementing development projects but also in the planning and designing stages. Women were actively involved in all stakeholder consultations. As a esult, women’s role and participation in health and community development activities has been steadily increasing at the local level. At the same time, active participation in development projects has raised women’s awareness on their legal rights and benefits, which is also contributing towards their empowerment. In 2009, women’s labour force participation rate stood at 31. 5%, an increase of around 2% since 2005. During this period, although the participation of women in the labour force has increased by roughly 1 million as compared to 3 million of men, there is definitely a progressive change taking place.

The changing role and status of women in Bangladesh today is characterized by increased opportunities. A research study conducted by the Bangladesh Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry reveals that women entrepreneurs are more likely to hire other women. In addition to creating jobs opportunities for women, such a trend will result in an overall increase in the progress of women in the country. Greater participation of women in remunerative work will not only improve their living conditions but also improve their bargaining positions.

Employed women will have better access to mainstream banking services which will help them to save and invest their income in tangible assets. Furthermore, formal sector employment opportunities for young women could reduce early marriages. Roughly 33% of women aged 15-49 in Bangladesh get married before the age of 15. Participation of young women in formal employment will not only prevent early marriages but also reduce fertility rates and health-related problems caused by early marriage.

Looking ahead, while access to labour markets is rising for women, capacity building services for women workers such as comprehensive training programs need to be developed alongside in the country. One of the important challenges faced by most women entrepreneurs is lack of access to market information. Therefore, supportive infrastructure such as information centres must be established to disseminate information on potential buyers, available technology and finance, which will make their business sustainable and profitable.

Addressing such key challenges presents a strong prognosis for women’s employment in the long run, which will in turn result in greater empowerment of women and gradually eliminate social barriers in the country.

Main scope: Scope of women enterprise covers a wide range of activities. The activities which are found particularly amenable to and can be successfully. The scope of women enterprise are represented: Figure: Scope of Women Entrepreneurship in Bangladesh

Capital Structure: Capital is most important part to start up business.

Women take initiative to start their business if she is financially strong or if she get financial support. We can define the capital structure of women in two way- 1. Long Term Sources 2. Short Term Sources 1. Long Term Sources: These are the loans taken for a fairly long duration of time ranging from 5 to 10 years or more. Long term loans are raised to meet the financial requirement of enterprise for acquiring the fixed asset including land,building,plant and machinery etc. Figure: Sources of Long Term Capital 2. Short Term Sources:

Short term capital is obtained for aperiod upto 1 year. These are required to meet the day to day business requirement. In other words,short term capital is obtained to meet the working capital requirement of the enterprise- Figure: Sources of Short term capital


The assignment also includes conducting of 30 case studies of women entrepreneurs in Bangladesh. The entrepreneurs were selected for the purpose at random. However, the accessibility of the entrepreneurs in terms of their time and convenience was also a factor in the selection.

The studies are presented in the following pages. The case studies mirror some important aspects of women entrepreneurship in Bangladesh.


Dalsanea, an exclusive fashion house is a popular brand name to Bangladeshi fashion loving people. The enterprise represents the beauty, women power and sprit of our time. Inspired by the theme, the enterprise was established in 1989 in Chittagong by Afsana Ahmed Shoma, the Chief Executive. Shoma is a truly self motivated business woman. Although she is an M.

Com (Finance), had a great interest in women fashion from her teenage life with a dream to be a fashion designer which inspired her for establishing the enterprise. She learns from new fashions that came to her notice. Today, she is specialized in wedding outfit design. Now Shoma is using a rented house in Dhaka as her work place and residence. She employs over 60 men and women to design and manufacturing wedding and party collection and soft evening dresses. She also uses contract workers for minor initial works. She is looking forward to establishing a separate workshop for her business, if financial support from banks is available.

The demand for her products is quite high and she has no marketing problem. Her products go mostly in big cities such as Dhaka and Chittagong. Most of the time, she receives advanced orders from the showroom owners of the big cities. She has participated in a number of national and international trade fairs and received recognition for her customized fashion brand. Investment: Originally, she invested about Tk. 1. 5 lakh in her business mostly from her own savings and borrowings from the close family members and about Tk. lakh from a private Bank and repaid. Recently, she applied for a loan of Tk. 10 lakh to MIDAS financing limited and the application is under process. Today the total investment in her business amounts to about Tk. 40 lakh. Income /Expenditure: Her average turnover per month is over Tk. 60 lakh with an operating cost of Tk 35 lakh. Social and environmental factors: The social factors that generally hinders Bangladeshi women in taking up business as a profession does not affect her much although her family members could not take her decision positively.

However, she has overcome these problems with perseverance and determination. Environmental problems don’t affect her much since the by products from her operation are mainly dry and degradable materials that are disposed by the Municipal waste collector. She is a member of several professional bodies and a familiar person in business and social life.. Future Prospects: The Dalsanea has good prospect for further development. At present, it is growing at the rate of about 25% per year. It has a plan to export mainly in the South Asian region.


KARIGAR, a leather and jute goods producing enterprise is a pride and inspiration of young entrepreneurs in Bangladesh. The enterprise was established in 2005 by a young graduate in Leather Product Technology, Tania Wahab and her friend. Tania is a self motivated business woman at a time when a large number of young professionals look for job after graduation instead of becoming entrepreneur. Bangladesh is an exporting country of lathe products and jute goods. Animal skin and hide are available in Bangladesh and the climate made the country as the producer of best quality jute in the World.

After graduation, Tania spends no time to take the advantage of raw materials availability in the country and the skill she acquired from the Bangladesh College of Leather Technology to fulfil her dream to be a business women. She is a self motivated, energetic and heard working woman with keen interest to learn. Although Tania is specialized on leather products but she is learning business management by doing. KARIGAR has two factories and a showroom in Dhaka- the second showroom is on the way. It has over 50 products such as Leather goods (jacket, wallet, belt jewellery box, slipper etc. , Jute goods (bags, cushion cover, table matt, table runner etc. ) and promotional items. The company employs 35 people of whom 95% are women to run the factory and the showroom. The enterprise also uses contract workers during the peak season. Tania is looking forward to establish an international standard factory in course of time. She markets her products by selling from her showroom and supplying to different client’s office on order. She has participated in national and international trade fairs with her products and gain respects. Investment: Initially, she and her friend have invested about Tk. 0. lakh in the business mostly borrowing from the close family members. Today they have accumulated about Tk. 15 lakh as operating capital. This year they borrowed Tk. 5 lakh from a private Bank. Social and environmental factors: The social factor affected her very much, initially. Fellow business men at the hub of Leather business in Dhaka could not believe that she will survive with the business because she is a woman. Gradually she has overcome these problems with enthusiasm and determination and become a member of their association, which makes her presence acceptable to the member of the association.

Environmental problems, especially disposal of waste materials affect her and she is trying to dispose the waste, scientifically. She is a member of several professional bodies. She is a resource person in different training programs. In 2006, Tania received National Best WomenEntrepreneur Award from SME Foundation, Bangladesh and listed as a raising business woman of Bangladesh by the International Trade centre, Geneva. Income /Expenditure: Her average turnover per month is over Tk. 10. 0 lakh with an operating cost of Tk 8. 0 lakh. At present the enterprise is growing at a rate of about 60% per year

Future Prospects: KARIGAR’s products have good prospect for marketing both at home and abroad. The enterprise exported about Tk. 18. 5 lakh worth of leather, jute and leather-jute mix products to UK and Australia in 2007-8 through a buying house. To increase the export, the enterprise must have international standard environmental friendly workshop for which Tania has a plan to setup. However, she needs promotional support from SME Foundation and long term loan from banks. PROFILE 03: HEALTH FOOD: EYA DON ENTERPRISE EYA DON, an exclusive health food supplier is a popular fast food in Dhaka.

The enterprise represents the quality; test andnutritious food for all. Khalida Ahmed, the director, is a children story writer, wanted to do something for the children. She is a very good cook of specialized Indian food from her family life and develops her brand with special sugar content food which is good for children test and growth. Khalida raised her three children and learned the requirement Of nutritious and healthy food for children. She is now an expert of testy food especially for children. With the help of husband and other family members, she established the enterprise in 2000 at Mohammedpur, Dhaka.

Khalida is a truly motivated social worker and business woman. She makes ready polau in 10 minutes, prepares Makhna, a special nutritious food for children, mixed acher (pickles), frozen kabob and many other food items. Eya Don’s food items received Bangladesh Standard and Testing Institute (BSTI) approval for marketing by fulfilling quality, nutrition and hygienic requirements. Khalida is using a rented house in Dhaka as her work place and residence. She employs seven men and women to prepare and market food items. She also uses contract workers for minor initial works.

She is looking forward to establishing a separate kitchen for her business, if financial support is available. She supplies foods to schools, Government and non-government offices on a contract basis. She also markets her products through super stores such as Agora, Nandan, Destiny, Prince Bazar etc. in Dhaka. She also made push sell, participated food fairs in Bangladesh. In 2004 she has exported a ton of frozen food to UK but could not continue due to lack of sufficient fund to build a bigger factory. Investment: Originally, she invested about Tk. 1. lakh in her business mostly from her and husband’s saving. She has now accumulated about Tk. 20. 0 lakh as operating capital. Recently, she applied for a loan of Tk. 8. 0 lakh to MIDAS financing limited and the application is under process. Income /Expenditure: Her average turnover per month is over Tk. 1. 5 lakh with an operating cost of Tk 1. 2 lakh. Social and environmental factors: The social factors do not affect her much rather her husband and family members helped to establish the enterprise to keep her busy when children grown up. Environmental problems don’t affect her.

She is a member of several professional bodies and a familiar person in business and social life. Future Prospects: The EYA DON Enterprise is growing at the rate of about 16% per year with good prospect for further growth. It has a plan to establish a frozen food factory with international standards for which the staff needs HACCP training; technical know-how and the company need financial support. F. Problems of women entrepreneurs in Bangladesh: Our study paid a lot of attention to investigate the challenges and problems faced by women entrepreneur. According to the study 94. % entrepreneur face different types of challenges and 5. 95% does not face any challenges or problems to start their enterprise. The challenges or problems are categorized in following ways: Figure: Problems of women entrepreneurs in Bangladesh 1. Financial Problem: Inadequacy of capital is the main problem of women entrepreneureneurs. Women have limited capital mainly from family savings and for initial capital they have to resort to the relative and other sources. For bank loan women need to give the collateral. Most women cannot expand their business due to financial problem.

Marketing: Absence of marketing facilities for women or easy access and the absence of proper sales centre are some of the major obstacles to do business. Women supply their products in markets through middleman. Due to shortage of capital women cannot afford to establish sale centers and they cannot expand their market for this. Raw Material: Women often face problem of price increase of the raw materials they use and have to pay high rate for retail purchase. Due to lack of capital they cannot purchase bulk quality of raw material and have to pay a high rate for retail purchase.

Price: Due to lack of market facilities women do not get the proper prices for their products,which are under priced by the customers or wholesalers who order their products. Other problems arise when the buyer does not provide the actual price or the wholesalers takes goods on credit. Labor: Moreover, on-availability of efficient or skilled labor is another problem. Equipment: Lack of improved equipment and machinery,existing competition faced due to expansion of production. 2. Political Problem: Political unrest like hartal /strike hindrance brings harm to their business .

In that time the entrepreneurs face a problem to produce and sale their goods . 3. Family problem: Some entrepreneur‘s mention that they also face family problem, they cannot spend. Much time for their business because they are engaged with their house hold work and take care their children . Women are in traditional and skill based business because the household members want that women should be involved in home based business which require less mobility or interaction mainly women customers . 3. Social problem: Women are handicapped in the current centralized wholesale market set up controlled by men.

The men in business do not welcome women’s entrance in the market and they often discourage women. Women entrepreneurs are often cheated by their male partners. 4. Transportation Problem: Linkages with the markets and flow of constant supply of product are hampered by the lack of quality transportation problem. 5. Lack of technical problem: Technology is changing and women have very little access to new technology and market information. Women normally work within a small geographic area with limited mobility. 6. Stiff Competition:

Women entrepreneurs do not have organizational set up to pump in a lot of money for canvassing and advertisement. Thus,they have to face a stiff competition for marketing their products. 7. Limited Mobility: Unlike men, women mobility in Bangladesh is highly limited due to various reasons. A single women asking for room is still looked upon suspicion. 8. Lack of Education: In Bangladesh, around 60% of women are still illiterate. Illiteracy is the root cause of socio-economic problems. Due to the lack of education and that too qualitative education, women are not aware of business, technology and market knowledge.

Thus, lack of education creates problems for women in the setting up and running of business enterprises. 9. Male-Dominated Society: Women suffer from male reservations about a women’s role, ability and capacity are treated accordingly. Thus in turn, serves as a barrier to women entry into business. 10. Low Risk Bearing Ability: Women in Bangladesh lead a protected life. They are less educated and economically not self-dependent. Risk bearing is an essential requisite of a successful entrepreneur. 11. Other Problems: Law and other situation poses problems for women’s mobility. Another problem is insecure feelings.

Sometimes police, admen create problem to carry their goods. Women have no legal knowledge or help in protecting their industries and often fall victims to illegal threats or criminal offenses. Frequent power failures are another important factor which hampers their production in time which effect on their business market. Women suffer from information crisis. In addition to above problem, inadequate infrastructural facilities, shortage of power, high cost production, social attitude, low need for achievement and socuio-economic constraint also hold the women back from entering into business.

G. Prospects of Women Entreprenuer Though women entreprenuer have a lotos of problems,still there are lots of opportunities also for them to continue. Women get preferential treatment in different official matter, handle with considerations, to better quality controlling and can maintain good customer relation. Now day’s educated women are coming forward to entreprenuership just after comleting their education. This is a very good sign for women empowerment and as well as material development There are several areas where the women entreprenuers have good prospect.

The areas where the women entreprenuers can get an easy access are discussed: Figure: Prospects of Women Entrepreneur 1. Self –Employed: These women have acquired on own, especially from parents, relatives or friends, the skills and capacities to operate enterprises. Some have undergone training and apprenticeship or worked as skilled labourers and obtained enough knowledge to start their own business. So women can move toward self employment. 2. Enterprise Ownership: Women can be the owner/operators of existing micro-enterprises, prove management and technical skill in self-employment. They often wish to xpand, upgrade or diversify their business through employment of family members as apprtenticeship especially in the rural areas or engage and hire workers for the production when the business progresses in the urban areas. 3. Manufacturing: Women’s traditional skills enable them to take up manufacturing in areas where raw materials for the products is available. Women in these activities employee workers skilled, non-skilled, permanent or as seasonal workers. With the expansion of business and the development of quality products, training in skill, technology, management and marketing becomes essential. . Family Trade: Many women can involved in the family trades, hereditarily performed through generations and the skill is traditionally kept within the family. Manufacturing handicrafts pottery, involved in food preparation operating individual units of embroidery, tailoring printing, dyeing, weaving, spinning, net marketing, etc. 5. Agricultural Activities: The rural women participate more in the agricultural sector, especially in operating vegetable gardens, horticulture production, nursery or even rice husking and preparation of varied rice products. 6. Sub-contracting:

This new system of generating income in the non formal sector is providing opportunities for women through negotiable procedure obtaining orders for product from either, exporters, procedures, whole seller’s or middlemen. 7. Women as exporters: Women can venture into exports directly by themselves or through other exporters. Export fairs, international trade fairs, single country fairs and initiative by importers have helped the women to produce quality products for exports. FINDINGS: 1. the contrinution % of the women entrepreneurs in different districts:

A questionnaire survey conducted among 130 women entrepreneur and based on this survey and statistical data the approximate result of women entrepreneur in Bangladesh are come out. The number of women entrepreneur in different district can be mentioned as follows__ 2. Motivating factors to enter into business: The respondents were asked to describe factors that encourage them to enter into business and entrepreneurial activities. The opinions they expressed in response to this questions are compiled and given in the following table with relative frequency and ranking.

Factors that encourage women to enter into business| %| Ranking| Inspiration from family and family had business| 29| 1| To create self-dependency| 24| 2| Self inspiration| 22| 3| Extra income for the family| 22| 3| For economic freedom| 14| 4| Self employment| 12| 5| Inspiration by friends| 9| 5| To upgrade social status| 6| 6| Pass leisure time| 5| 7| Economic development| 4| 8| Inspiration from some organizations| 3| 9| No alternative to have a job| 1| 10| Inspired by training| 1| 10| To establish women’s rights| 1| 10| Eradicate gender discrimination| 1| 10| Creating opportunity for others| 1| 10| . previous occupations: Previous occupation of women entrepreneur are describe by the following pie chart _ 4. Nature Of Ownership: individual ownership is dominant type Among 130 enterprises established by women entrepreneurs. Their nature of owner ship are shown by following figure_ individual ownership is dominant type Among 60 women entrepreneurs, 73. 2% is owned by individual, 15. 9% is jointly owned by family members and only 7. 3% business is run in partnership with other members. Partnership is also dominated by the traditional kinship relationships as 38. % of women entrepreneurs have partnership with mother, 26. 9% with sisters, and 3. 8% with brother. Only 3. 8% of women entrepreneurs interviewed have partnership with husband. In 15. 4% cases, partnership is found with friends. Domination of partnership by the kinship relationship can be explained by traditional patriarchal social values and social system, under which, women’s social dealing with the people, particularly men, outside of the family is highly restricted. This is also associated with the fear of social insecurity and social stigma. 5. Types of Business Where Women entered:

Percentage distribution of women entrepreneurs by the types of business are shown in following. Type-1| Type-2| Type-3| Description| %| Description| %| Description| %| Manufacturing| 61. 6%| Only Export| 15. 6%| Whole sell| 16. 2%| Service| 12. 8%| Only Import| 0%| Retail| 43. 0%| Trading| 12. 8%| Neither Export Nor Import| 82. 8%| Both| 40. 8%| Other| 12. 8%| Both Export & Import| 1. 6%| | | | 100%| | 100%| | ! 00%| Table : Types of Business Where Women Are Entered . Among 130 women entrepreneurs interviewed, about two third of them (62%) were found to be involved in manufacturing sector followed by service (12. %) and trading sector (12. 8%). Among them, 82. 8% has no relation with export-import business as only 15. 6% were found to be involved in export-oriented business. Retail is the dominant trend among women entrepreneurs in the sample. More than one third of them (43%) were found to be involved in retail business. Only 16. 2% enterprises were found to be wholesellers and 40. 8% were involved in both retail and wholesell business. 6. Experiences in Trade Licensing and Company Registration: Women Face various types of Problme to Register their enterprise.

It Causes various harassment for women. That’s why they are not interested for register their business. Their registration status are shown in following figure-eight… Figure: Status of enterprises in term of having company Registration The figure shows that almost half of the women entrepreneurs (49. 7%) interviewed did not get their enterprises registered with any legal authorities. Among women entrepreneurs, who have trade license, most of them run their business in the city corporation like Dhaka, Rajshahi and Sylhet. About 90% of the women entrepreneurs from Dhaka have trade license.

Most of the women entrepreneurs, who do not have trade license, are from the district town or local area like Jessore (85. 7% have no trade license), Comilla (57% have no trade license). It could be assumed that having trade license is associated with the access to information. Since the women living in the city corporation areas have greater access to information and public institutions, most of them were able to get their company registered. It is also evident from the result of cross tabulation that education and training has a great influence to inspire women to get their company registered.

About 70% of women entrepreneurs having trade license completed at least secondary level of education and have some training experiences on various issues. Year of company registration: Although 50% of women entrepreneurs did not get their company registered from any legal authority, the tendency to have trade license is gradually increasing, as it is evident from figure 8. that 59% of enterprises become registered during 2001-2007. It can be assumed that educated women are entering into business and they have better knowledge of regulatory Trade license-providing agencies:

In Bangladesh there are some agencies that provide trade license who are authorized by Govt. the license providing agencies are shown in following figure. Figure-9: Percentage distribution of women entrepreneurs by the trade-licensing authorit Among 50% of the respondents having trade license, majority of them (67. 9%) got trade license from the City Corporation, 17. 9% from Municipality, 3. 6% from Union Parishad. It is also evident from the findings that 40% were unable to complete trade licensing procedures on their own resulting in increased expenditures for company registration.

About 45% of them had to expend, on average, extra 2000 taka only to get help in trade license processing. The median value for this purpose was found to be 5000 taka, which means about 50% of the women entrepreneurs, who were unable to accomplish trade licensing process on their own, had to expense, on average, 5000 taka or more than 5000 taka. Expenditure for getting trade license: It is evident from the findings that most of the women entrepreneurs have experiences of informal source of expenditures like bribery in the process of getting trade license. Expenditure| Name of the trade licensing authority| City corporation| Municipality| Union parishad| Mean| 2400| 1200| Not available| Median| 2250| 1200| Not available| expenditures like bribery in the process of getting trade license. The women entrepreneurs interviewed mentioned that they had to informally pay from 50 to 1200 taka to get trade license from the city corporation. Regarding informal expenditure, they had better experiences with municipalities. Average expenditure including formal and informal for getting trade license from the City Corporation was found to be BDT 2400 and median was calculated for this category as BDT 2250.

In case of Municipality, both mean and median were found to be 1200. It means getting trade license from municipalities is less expensive. It is also mentioned by the respondents that getting trade license from Municipality was less bureaucratic and complication free compare to the services from the city . corporation. Reasons behind not having trade license: The women entrepreneurs, who did not have trade license, were asked to describe the reasons. The opinions they expressed as reasons for not having trade license were as follows: Opinion| %| Unaware of the necessity of having trade license| 37%|

Aware but not familiar with the process| 41%| Applied for trade license and the process is going on| 3. 7%| Others| 18. 3%| Total| 100%| Problems faced by the women entrepreneurs with different trade licensing authorities: The following table Show the Problems faced by the women entrepreneurs with different trade licensing authorities— Types of Problemsmentioned by thewomen entrepreneurs| CityCorporation| Municipalities| UnionParishad| Taxdepartment| Complex process| X| X| | X| Time consuming| X| X| X| X| Bureaucratic process| X| X| | X| Bribery| X| X| | X| Indecent behavior| X| X| | X| Sexual harassment,teasing| X| X| X| X|

Lack of cooperation| X| X| | X| Problems faced by the women entrepreneurs due to not having trade license: Due to not having trade license women faced different types of problems and harassments. The problem that they face are represented in following tables Major Problems| %| Could not get access to bank loan and financial institutions| 80| Could not participate in trade fair| 60| Could not get membership with the chamber of commerce| 45| Could not enter into export-import oriented sectors| 35| It is observed from the table-13 that women entrepreneurs faced various problems due to not having trade license.

As per responses by women entrepreneurs, for the lack of trade license, 80% of them were refused by banks or financial institutions to give a loan to them, 75% of them could not participate in trade fair. Since, it is mandatory to have trade license for getting membership with the chamber of commerce, 60% of them failed to apply for membership. Another 35% told that they could not enter into export-import business Opinion of the women regarding company registration The women entrepreneurs in the sample were asked to express their recommendations about existing company registration process.

The major issues they raised were as follows. Opinion| %| Make registration process easier| 75| Make information available towomen entrepreneurs| 70| Create awareness regardingregistration process| 60| Create awareness regardingregistration process| 85| Make the people gender sensitive| 66| Organize training on regulatory process| 58| Reduce company registration fee| 70| Reduce complexity| 55| Fasten registration process| 45| 7. Main sectors Sector-wise percentage distribution of the respondents. Name of the sectors| % enterprises| Garments/Home textile| 16. 1|

Printing| 1. 6| Handicraft| 69. 4| Agro based| 3. 2| Parlor| 4. 8| Food| 3. 2| Others| 1. 6| Total| 100| Among the respondents, majority of women entrepreneurs (69. 4%) were found to be involved in handicraft sector followed by garments/ home-textile (16%). The table-8 also shows that women are becoming in non-traditional sectors like printing and media, food business, etc. It is observed that 60% of women entrepreneurs did not know how to conduct feasibility study before selecting a specific product, 26. 7% of them were completely found unaware of feasibility study and 6. % of them did not feel necesity to conduct a feasibility study. Only few women entrepreneurs told that they conducted feasibility through market observation and participation in trade fair. 8. Training and Human Resources Training Percentage distribution of women entrepreneurs by the status of training: Whether received training| % of therespondents| Received before starting business| 35. 5| Received after starting business | 42. 1| Received before and after starting business| 13. 2| Did not receive any training| 9. 2| Total| 100| n=60 Training is a vital issue for women entrepreneurship development.

It can facilitate women to internalize required business skills and attributes. The table-15 shows that among the women entrepreneurs interviewed, almost half of them(48. 7%) had received training on various issues before they entered into business. Different NGOs, public institutions like women and children affairs department, youth development department, chamber of commerce, trade bodies provided these training. 42. 1% of them started their business without having any training on business development although they received training after they had entered into business. In 9. % cases, there was no opportunity to receive training and they did not receive any training on business. This group is from the remotest area that means women entrepreneurs live in the rural areas or local areas are more vulnerable than their urban counterpart is. Percentage distribution of the respondents by the name of courses that they received before and after their business initiatives: Name of the trainingcourses| % of the respondents| | Before starting12business| After starting13business| Sales and marketing| 44| 69| Training on sewing| 44| 6| Training on block and boutique| 40| 28| Training on embroidery| 19| 0|

Training on cutting| 11| 0| Training on Tailoring| 26| 9| Handicraft| 41| 19| Computer| 4| 22| Financial Management| 11| 9| Business Management| 7| 16| Leadership of women| 4| 0| Poltry| 15| 3| Mini garments| 4| 0| Screen print| 4| 3| Cooking| 4| 3| Beauty & herbal care| 4| 0| The above table shows training courses which were organized for women entrepreneurs before or after their entry into business. It is expected that those training courses were helpful to buildcapacity of women entrepreneurs at entry level but in terms of the degree of effectiveness, there is a scope to raise questions.

The women entrepreneurs who did not receive any training mentioned that they did not know where to go to receive training. They do not have proper idea about training providing agencies. It is also observed that public training providing agencies do not have proper mechanism to go to women entrepreneurs, particularly to rural women with their services, as said by the respondents. 9. Sources of capital: Starter Capital and Trend in Investment: The picture of starter capital are representing by following table- | Starter Capital (BDT)| Current amount of capital (BDT)| Mean| 207265| 290884| Median| 20000| 600000|

Mode| 100000| 300000| Minimum| 500| 10000| Maximum| 4000000| 5000000| Out of 130 women entrepreneurs interviewed, 77 women entrepreneurs were able to provide information about the amount of their starter capital. Based on available informationprovided by them, mean value of starter capital for 77 women entrepreneurs were found to be BDT 207265 but the median value was found to be BDT 20,000, which means 50% of 77 women entrepreneurs’ starter capita was equal to or less than BDT 20,000. The minimum starter capital was found to be only BDT 500. The maximum amount of starter capital was BDT 4000000.

This extreme case has positive influence on the value of mean. Compare to the current amount of capital, it is evident that average capital has been increased from the amount of the starting point of business. For 69 women entrepreneurs, mean and median for existing capital were calculated as BDT 290884 and BDT 600000. In case of starter capital, 50% of women entrepreneurs’ investment was from BDT 500 to 20000 while 50% of women entrepreneurs’ current investments were found between BDT 10000 to 600000. It can be considered as significant growth in investment for micro women entrepreneurs.

Sources of Starter capital: Percentage distribution of women entrepreneurs by the sources of starter capital are presented by following table- Opinion| %Of Respondents| Own savings| 61| Parents| 39| Husband| 18| n-laws| 6| Relatives belong to kinship group| 2| Friends| 3| Public commercial bank| 1| Private commercial bank| 1| NGO| 5| Other government agencies| 3| Cooperative society| 0| Leasing company| 0| Mahajan| 0| Others| 0| Credit Facilities For Women: In our social world the women did not get enough facility for the credit facility. The face various problem for collecting their capital.

If an women goes for institutional facility then she does not get enough respons from them. Percentage distribution of women entrepreneurs by their first impression at bank Level Of Impression| % Of women Entrepreneurs| Very good| 11| Moderate| 67| Bad| 22| Total| 100| Among the respondents, 98 women entrepreneurs out of 130 visited various banks and financial institutions for a loan but only 5 of them managed to get a loan from banks. 98 women entrepreneurs were also asked to express their first impression about bank. Only 11% mentioned that they have very good impression. 7% of them expressed their moderate impression and 22% told they had bad impression while they went for a loan to a bank. SWOT Analysis about women entrepreneur according to survey: Here the SWOT analysis from the survey explain the internal capacity and external capacity analysis of an women to establish en enterprise. According to our survey the explanation of strength, opportunity, weakness and threats.

Strengths of Women:

  •  Initiative
  • Self-inspiration
  • Efficiency at work
  •  Self-confidence
  • Growth oriented
  • Good organizer
  •  Ambitious
  •  Imitation of innovations

Weaknesses of Women:

  • Low risk-bearing ability
  • Low literacy rate
  • Low work participation rate
  • Low urban population share
  • Low utilization capacity of resources
  • Low level of mobilitys
  • Inability to hardwork and tencious work
  • Confusion in decision making

Opportunities of Women:

  •  Technological opportunity
  •  Support from government
  • Professional consultancies
  • Micro-finance facilities
  • Availability of raw material
  • Tax facility
  • SME
  • Export facility


Threats of Women:

  • Unfavourable cultural practices
  • Social inhibitions
  • Unaware of government facilities
  • Huge competition
  • High cost against loan Lack of training facility
  • Inadequate infrastructural facility.
  • Family ties
  • Male dominating society.
  • poor linkages and networks
  • unfavorable policy and regulatory environment


Recommendation Based on the present stydy the following recommendations are put forward for further improvement of the condition of women entrepreneur of Bangladesh. Establish a separate cell to deal with women entrepreneurs regarding trade license and company registration. Create easy access for women entrepreneurs to the local administrative support public institution . The central bank should fix up a target for each bank to provide loan for women and from a monitoring team to monitor the implementation of its circular. A comprehensive credit policy should be initiated under the supervision of the central bank in order to create access of women entrepreneurs to finance. this policy must keep a provision of collateral free loan, credit without interest or low rate of interest (maximum 8% interest),loan for long time duration etc. for women entrepreneurs. Establish a separate bank for the development of women entrepreneurs.

Impose an obligation for other banks to maintain a minimum quota for women entrepreneurs in loan disbursement and ensure the implementation of this quota. All types of new women entrepreneurs should given a provision of tax-exemption for at last five years.  Include a special provision for women entrepreneurs in the policy and procedures of value added tax (VAT) and keep a provision of VAT exemption for new women entrepreneurs for at least first five years. Increase budgetary allocation to facilitate women entrepreneurs, particularly women entrepreneurs to participate in the national and international trade fair. Provide special support to women entrepreneurs who are involved in export-oriented activities for promoting marketing of their products. The required amount of credit and its timely disbursement have an important role to continue and expand the enterprise. * Timely support of credit facility has to be ensured. Collateral requirement of bank should be revisited and procedures should be made simple. All banks should allocate a portion of their loan for women entrepreneurs and should open a separate window for them. Lack of management experience of entrepreneur they should be trained on “Entrepreneur Development Training”. Proper step should be taken for this purpose. Women entrepreneur needs management assistance to improve the administrative capacity and increase productive activity and capacity in quality as well as in volume. Conclusion: Entrepreneurship to women in Bangladesh is more than just income generation. It is about working to build a more prosperous country, to lift the many millions of Bangladesh people out of poverty. It is about achieving economic independence and women’s empowerment.

And it is about striving for emancipation of women’s gender roles, to create a better future for generations of women to come. So,all of us who have a role to play must come forward in this extremely important development and growth process to build the nation that Bangladesh should be. The present study show that most of the entrepreneurs were from young and less educated. They were migrating from different areas. According to the survey results women are found to have engaged themselves in different type of enterprises. Women entrepreneurs selected their enterprises with what they were familiar.

Most of the cases show that they were previously worked on others as worker from which they earned their working skill and later on they started their enterprises in those Ares only. The study clearly indicate that lack of capital is still the remain problem, absence of marketing facilities, absence of proper sales center are some of the major problem. Another common barrier faced by the women entrepreneurs was balancing time between the enterprise and the family. If the major barrier in marketing for women entrepreneurs can be removed then the women lead sector can surely add income for the economy.

This study focuses that if the women are provided with appropriate training and need based assistance and make an easy environment they will incrementally enter into the entrepreneurial occupation and will prove their worth through efficiency in operation to contribute to the economy of Bangladesh.


  1. Multiple responses were allowed and responses were not mutually exclusive
  2. N=36, multiple responses were allowed and data were not mutually exclusive
  3. N=32, for both cases, multiple responses were allowed and data were not mutually exclusive 4.

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Problems & Prospects of Women Entrpreneurship. (2017, Jan 12). Retrieved from

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