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Women Entrepreneurship in Bangladesh: Problems and Prospects Entrepreneurship Entrepreneurship is one of the indispensable ways to economic self-sufficiency around the world. Karl H. Vesper defined the overall field of entrepreneurship as the creation of new business ventures by Individuals or small groups. It is to be noted that entrepreneurship has been under discussion for more than two centuries. Gloss, Steads and Lowry made an attempt to define entrepreneurship through four common characteristics of an entrepreneur.

These are as follows: ? Purposeful i. e. sets goals and strives to accomplish them ? Persuasive i. e. influences others to assist in reaching desired goals ? A presumption i. e. strikes out boldly and acts when others hesitate to do so. ? Perceptive i. e. understands how each separate decision relates to accomplishing the established goals. Women Entrepreneurship A woman who has most of all or all those features and she structures an org. formulates plans & policies, executes those, innovates and bears moderate risks is called Woman Entrepreneur. On the other word, a woman will be termed as a woman Entrepreneur if she is the ‘owner or proprietor of a private or proprietary enterprise’ or ‘is the director of a private company’ registered with the ‘joint stock’ or ‘shareholding enterprise’ or owing at least 51% share among the shareholders. And her initiatives are known as Woman Entrepreneurship.

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Today in addition to the traditional “women sectors” like food, beauty, health, fashion, animal husbandry, boutiques, handicraft and tailoring, women have entered into broader areas such as garments, shipping, engineering, advertising travel agencies, interior decoration, IT, agro-industry, educational institutions, restaurants etc. Bangladesh has shown success in the arena of the rural women entrepreneurs operating micro enterprises. Major Problems Faced By Women Entrepreneurs 1. Parents did not want them to be in business. 2. Husband did not approve their profession as entrepreneur. . In-laws did not like their free movement outside homes. 4. Backbiting of the society/bad comments about women’s free movement as businesswomen. 5. Can not move alone at night safely. 6. Teasing by men & hoodlums. 7. Transport problem for marketing and movement. 8. Religious leaders do not approve of women in business /religious barrier by people. 9. Women cannot participate alone in social work/ social occasion. 10. Security Problems faced in business and at work. 11. Non-cooperation of the society people regarding business development and out-house activities. 2. Can not move freely in the society. 13. Negative attitude of social leaders. 14. Conservative society does not allow women in business/ work out side at night. 15. Most of the women do not have proper idea about trade license and company registration. 16. Women entrepreneurs are unable to get access to various facilities of public and private institutions available at the local level due to lack of trade license. 17. Getting trade license is time consuming and it requires extra money in addition to fixed fees for trade license. 18.

The interest rate/service charges are higher for loan from informal sources. 19. Most of the women entrepreneurs are unaware of the circular of Bangladesh Bank on refinancing scheme for women SME; even local bankers are not informed of this circular. 20. Women are not aware of the process to get a loan from banks. 21. Banks impose various conditions. In most cases, women entrepreneurs are unable to meet up their conditions. 22. Most of the banks follow a lengthy, complicated and bureaucratic process. 23. The people working at various banks are not sensitized regarding women entrepreneurs. 4. Provision of weekly installment of loan and higher service charges are also barrier to the development of women SMEs. 25. The opportunity of training and capacity building is very limited for local women entrepreneurs. 26. Trained women cannot utilize their skills due to the lack of the opportunity to apply their skills. 27. A number of women entrepreneurs do not have own showroom or display center to sell their product. 28. Women are unable to create proper market due to lack of product diversification and standard design. 29.

Sometimes, women have sold their product at lower prices only because they are women. 30. Women SME are not aware of tax and VAT Process. 31. Women entrepreneurs lack access to necessary Information. 32. Law and order situation is not positive for women Entrepreneurs. 33. Due to lack of uniform family code, women are being deprived of equal rights to family property. 34. The relevant local institutions could have played more active roles in promoting women business but due to lack of responsiveness, accountability and efficiency, they could not play expected roles. 35.

There is a lack of coordination between and among different institutions working for women entrepreneurship development. Suggestions to overcome problems 1. Bangladesh Police needs to give special attention to Women Entrepreneurs. 2. Government Administrative Officials need to be free from corruption. 3. Organize training (skill, financial, entrepreneurship development, Sales & Marketing, ICT etc) for build women entrepreneurs more proficient. 4. Organize vigorous awareness program to change the attitude of people (religious leader, family, and society head) towards women entrepreneurship. . Provide more collateral free loan at low interest rate for women entrepreneurs. 6. Concerned Government agencies must be cooperative to women entrepreneurs. 7. Introduce financial incentives to bring more women in business. 8. Establish technical institute for product development. 9. Establish special market for women entrepreneurs. 10. Loan procedure needs to be more users friendly. 11. Ensure secured business environment for the women entrepreneurs. 12. Well organized women association is needed to solve women entrepreneurs’ problems.

Prospects Though women entrepreneurs have lots of problems, still there are lots of opportunities also for them to continue. 1. Women get preferential treatment in different official matters, handled with consideration, do better quality controlling and can maintain good customer relation. 2. Nowadays educated women are coming forward to entrepreneurship just after completing their education. This is a very good sign for women empowerment and as well as material development. 3.

Women have achieved good prospects in industry, especially the small and cottage and micro home-based ones. 4. Their present involvement in manufacturing and in the recent trends of their involvement in construction activities in growing numbers is likely to continue. 5. Women have emerged as exporters and their control of export-oriented industries, are promising areas for enhanced female participation and employment. 6. Incentives could stimulate enterprises to develop female entrepreneurial skills and income-generating activities. 7.

Women’s growing involvement in the construction of civil works gives evidence to their potential regarding market growth opportunities and should be encouraged. 8. Where women have access to market information and display of products they can increase their business acumen, especially with respect to demand for wide-range of products they might choose to produce. 9. Present tax and interest rate, loan facilities and other Govt. incentives increasing the prospects of women’s participation in business. Introduction of Some Successful Women Entrepreneurs |Sl. No. Name |Districts |Year of starting|Name of Org. |Other Info. | | | | |business | | | | |Shaila Sultana |Dhaka |2005 |Boutique shop |Started business on Dhanmondi | | | | | |“Charka” |Rang’s Plaza with the help of her | | | | | | |husband.

Attended BWCCI in 2008 and| | | | | | |achieved ‘BWCCI-EBL progressive | | | | | | |award 2011’. | | |Yesmin Morshed |Chittagong |2006 |Boutique house, Event|At 1st, she started business in | | | | | |mgt and Training |home in 1996.

She worked hard with | | | | | |centre |the help of her husband & brothers. | | |Bilkis Ahmed |Barishal |2000 |Boutique & Tailoring |Didn’t face that type of problems | | | | | |shop “Aachol” |like other.

Also a member of BWCCI. | | |Dilara Amzad |Rajshahi |2000 |Boutique house |Though she faced many bad comments | | | | | | |from society & in laws family but | | | | | | |her husband helped most. | |Gazi Laila Akhtar |Sylhet |2002 |Aporupa Beauty Parlor|Started business by own deposited | | | | | | |money. Recently opened a branch | | | | | | |only for gents. She has overcome | | | | | | |problems with the help of family. | |Lutfun Haque |Khulna |2005 |Balk print, |Family helped her most. She learnt | | | | | |boutiques, handicraft|about proper processing system of | | | | | |shop “Priya Boutique”|bank loan. She faced many obstacles| | | | | | |to get loan from Commercial Bank. | |Umme Farhana Bristi |Chittagong |2000 |Books store ‘Bristi’s|Bristi started her business with | | | | | |books’ |the help of her brothers. She has | | | | | | |problem for finance and also | | | | | | |transportation. | |Sufia Begum |Chittagong |1995 |Advertising Firm: |With the financial help from her | | | | | |Design House |brothers and close friends, she | | | | | | |managed to keep the business | | | | | | |running, learned and used computer | | | | | | |for designing advertise and | | | | | | |official printing materials, | | | | | | |contacted all clients of her | | | | | | |husband’s era and started moving | | | | | | |ahead. | | |Sitare Rahman |Chittagong |1999 |Fish Import & Export:|The social factors did not affect | | | | | |Rahman Enterprise |her since her husband has been by | | | | | | |her side.

She received a successful| | | | | | |women entrepreneur’s award from | | | | | | |Chittagong women chamber for her | | | | | | |achievement as importer and | | | | | | |exporters of frozen food. | | |Anjuman Ara Sheikh |Chittagong |2003 |Herbal Skin Care: |The social factors affected her | | | | | |‘SHE’ |business, initially.

Most of her | | | | | | |family members including husband | | | | | | |did not like the idea of her | | | | | | |establishing a women fashion house,| | | | | | |but she managed these problems with| | | | | | |her determination and enthusiasm. | Reference: ? Women_Entrepreneurs_in_SMEs_Bangladesh_Perspective. pdf ? The Emerging Women Entrepreneurs of Bangladesh. pdf ? The Daily News Paper “Prothom Alo”


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