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Women Entrepreneurship in Case of Bangladesh

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Introductory 1. 1 Abstract Women entrepreneurship is a rapidly growing phenomenon in many developing countries including Bangladesh. This paper reviewed the literature on women entrepreneurship development in Bangladesh with specific focus on government and financial intermediaries supports. The report also identified major challenges that obstruct smooth development of women entrepreneurs.

Women involved in various micro, small and medium enterprises take on the challenge to work in a male-dominated society, competitive and complex economic and business environment with the government policy supports and financial institutions participation.

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They improved their living conditions and earned more respect in the family and the society. However, the challenges that were identified includes lack of access to credit, limited access to market information, infrastructure and utility services, traditional technology, bureaucratic complexity and so on.

This report provides some useful academic insight and offers some practical suggestions toward improving government policy supports for developing women entrepreneurs. Key words: women entrepreneurs , entrepreneurship , challenges , prospects , government policy support , financial intermediaries. 1. 2 Introduction 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.

It is heartening to note that despite many barriers, a new women’s entrepreneur class has arisen in the country taking on the challenge to work in a male-dominated, competitive and complex economic and business environment. Not only have their entrepreneurship improved their living conditions and earned more respect in the family and the society, but they are also contributing to business and export growth, supplies, employment generation, productivity and skills development of the country. A recent United Nations report concluded that economic development is closely related to the advancement of women. In countries where women have advanced, the economy has usually been steady. By contrast, in countries where women have been restricted, the economy has been stagnant. “Women’s entrepreneurship is not an easy task. “Becoming an entrepreneur is an evolution of encountering, assessing, and reacting to a series of experiences, situations, and events produced by political, economic, social and cultural changes. ” Given the complexities in the social environment and administrative structure, women’s entrepreneurship in Bangladesh is more challenging.

Many social and operational constraints continue to restrict women from starting and running economic enterprises. Apart from the family and social barriers against the mobility of women, the operational barriers such as lack of access to capital, lack of training facilities for skills development, lack of business services, lack of business data, complex banking procedures and collateral requirements, etc. continue to critically limit their progress. Over the past two decades, norms segregating and protecting women have been breaking down.

However, it is also apparent that female economic participation has in fact, marginalized women mainly because the activities involved in many areas does not provide women complete control over production, in land ownership or in income earned. In regular cases, the initiatives in this regard have transferred women from the core production activities to marginal ones, such as handicraft, handloom, or home-based industries than the more sophisticated productions involving modern technology, which are usually controlled by the male entrepreneurs.

Women are not being able to play a controlling role in the mainstream production where the male power has remained intact. No dent is easily created in patriarchy and the patriarchal value system of the society where women have been forced to enter and is involved marginally, being pushed increasingly into problematic situations. Their work load has increased manifold as they have to do both the domestic work and the income earning ones also.

The changing role of women shows that over the last two decades, there has been a steady upward trend in the participation of women in economic activities in developing countries as Bangladesh 1. 3 Objectives of the report The overall objective of the study is to examine issues involved in women entrepreneurship development with a view to addressing the problems of exclusion of women from access to market, technology and finance and make recommendations for the for upliftment of women ntrepreneur includes the following specifically: 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 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 d) To examine how women’s business associations can strengthen women’s position in business international trade promotions; e) To indicate areas in need of further research with understanding of economic contributions byfemale enterprise owners; f) To provide strategic directions on how to promote and strengthen potentiality of womenentrepreneurs in Bangladesh. 1. 4 Methodology This study is descriptive as well as suggestive in nature. Information for this study mainly includes secondary resources, consisting of books, newspapers, periodical articles from national and international level. Internet sources have mostly been used for research. An attempt has also been made to include the latest information whenever available. A few primary data were collected through interview and discussions with some successful women entrepreneurs.

The report also presents simple case study of few women entrepreneurs. The findings of the study are written in a more qualitative manner rather than in quantitative terms. 1. 5 Limitations & Scope of Report We have tried to focus more on present situation & support services given to the women entrepreneurs in our country. Besides the lack information there were some limitations also. The major limitations were finding proper information which is current and others also. Time limitations create some barrier in collection of qualitative data. Most of the survey conducted in this context is based on small or targeted samples. So accurate information could not found.

So we make an overall study on women entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship related within Bangladesh. 1 Chapter 2: Theoretical analysis Concept of women entrepreneurship 2. 6 Meaning of women entrepreneurship a. Based on participation ‘A women entrepreneur defines as an enterprise owned and controlled by one or more women having a minimum financial holding of 51% or more, giving 51% or more employment to women. ’ b. General concept “A woman or a group of women who initiate ,organize and run a business” c. Based on innovation : “Women who innovate , imitate or adopt a business activity are called women entrepreneurs” d. Some Facts: Women constitute not only half of the World’s population but also sway the growth of the remaining half * They produce half of the world’s food supply * They account for 60% of the work force * Own less than 1% of the real estate 2. 7 Background/History It is said that entrepreneurs are persons who bring about phenomenal economic changes, through their risk taking innovativeness and constant agility. Bangladeshi women entrepreneurs need to have an extra quality in the form of dogged determination and resilience since this is greatly needed to fight with adverse situations which seem to confront female entrepreneurs rather than their male counterparts in the present-day context.

Women in business in Bangladesh require more efforts than men to gain a foothold as economic change agents. Sustained efforts are needed to enhance the capability of women entrepreneurs as well as to create conditions for entrepreneurship to succeed in terms of setting up and maintaining productive operations. Many organizations have assisted in the formation of women entrepreneurs. WEDP of BSCIC underits project (1997-2002) has identified 90,661 women entrepreneurs, developed 73,169, disbursed BDT 5,711. 40 lac to 73,169 women and provided skill development training to 4,302 and management training to 32,995 women entrepreneurs 2. 8 Literature Review

Existing sex ratio in demographic structure of Bangladesh indicates that women comprise almost 50% of the total population. They are essential part of nation’s human resources. Due to this demographic structure, the issue of the participation of women in the mainstream economy is imperative. Without a meaningful and active participation of women, half of the total population, in regular economic activities, a dynamic and sustainable economy is impossible. A sustainable economy is a precondition for national growth and prosperity including institutionalization of a democratic system. It is also impossible to achieve the target of a poverty-free society without incorporation of women in the mainstream economy.

Considering the issue, a special emphasis has been given by the Government, donor agencies, NGOs, business community and all other relevant stakeholders through different interventions to ensure increased women’s participation in formal economic sector, especially in business and industry. Bangladesh is one of the countries, which rectified the UN Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). The Constitution of Bangladesh also grants equal rights to women and men in all spheres of public life [Article 28(1), and 28(3)]. The Constitution also keeps an obligation for the state to ensure women’s active and meaningful participation in all spheres of public life (Article-10).

In response to the international concern and constitutional commitment, the Government of Bangladesh has initiated some institutional measures for the enhancement of women’s economic position and status in society. The major initiatives undertaken by the Government so far included establishment of a separate ministry on women’s affairs, formulation of the National Policy for Advancement of Women-2008 and the National Action Plan, which was prepared in response to the Beijing Platform for Action (PFA). The Bangladesh Government has also formed a National Women SME Forum under the SME Foundation of the Ministry of Industry to promote women’s participation in formal economic sectors.

The Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP), which is now the main document for national development in Bangladesh, also incorporated some noteworthy issues to ensure women’s participation in social and economic life. The industrial and SME policies 2005 of Bangladesh Government have emphasized women entrepreneurship development, particularly in SME sector. Despite various initiatives from different corner of the state, the level of participation of women in the mainstream economic activities, especially private sector, remains insufficient and the percentage of women in business and industry is still well below than that of their male counterpart.

A recent survey conducted by the PPRC, an independent research organization in Bangladesh, on `Local Business Dynamics’ showed that female constitute only 1% of the sample indicating the very limited presence of women in formal business. It is inspiring to mention here that a new women’s entrepreneurs class is increasingly emerging each year taking on the challenge to work in a male-dominated, competitive and complex economic and business environment. Not only have their entrepreneurship improved their living conditions and earned more respect in the family and the society, but they are also contributing to business and export growth, supplies, employment generation, productivity and skill development of the country. Even though, women are entering into business sector everyday, they are still vulnerable and marginalized.

One of the indications of their marginalization is lack of information and statistics about the situation of women entrepreneurs. This is also difficult to address the issues of women entrepreneurs without having proper data on the situation of women entrepreneurs, specially rural and micro women, as they are still prime groups among country’s women entrepreneurs. Chapter 3: Findings & Analysis 2 Present scenario of women entrepreneurs 3. 9 Characteristics of Women Entrepreneurs 3. 10. 1 Age From a survey it was revealed that the age of the women entrepreneurs varied from less than 20 years to 61 years and above. From the figures provided we find that the age of the majority (41. 64%) of the women entrepreneurs were between 31 to 40 years.

This shows that having maturity through age helped them operate their business enterprises with confidence and steadiness. It was an age group where the women had the capacity to run enterprises with stability and reliability, overcome obstacles with courage and make decisions with confidence. It is a known fact in Bangladesh that women face criticism working outside homes and especially for women entrepreneurs who have to transact with male counterparts for marketing of products and also for production requirements. However, women of this age group have the courage to face the social criticism and at the same time control both their business and also their family activities with self-esteem and self-control.

These women can work hard and also convince the male members of their families and also the society for their income earning sources, because of their maturity in age and the power to overcome obstacles with confidence. The next highest number of women entrepreneurs (28. 02%) belonged to the age group of 21-30 years where the women revealed the enthusiasm of younger females who endeavored into business professions with zeal and courage, initiating an income earning capacity and overcoming problems with the strength and courage of the younger generation. It was found that the greater the age, the lesser was their participation in the business profession and activities. The aged women were lesser in the trade as seen with the figures of 18. 36% in age group of 41 to 50 years and also the figures of 4. 93% in age group 51 to 60 years.

Moreover, the strength to work, the courage to meet the struggles of the profession and the diligence and meticulousness of the management of business was insecured for women in the age group of over 61 years and above. That is why only 0. 68% women entrepreneurs were found in this age group in the survey. Similar was the findings with young girls less than 20 years (3. 2%), who were not allowed or encouraged by their families and the society to enter the profession due to risks involved and also for the lack of confidence in dealing with serious business complications. Figure 1: overall age distribution 3. 10. 2 Educational Qualifications Regarding the educational status of the respondents, it was found that 97. 9% of the women entrepreneurs had education from below SSC to Masters Degree including some professional degree. Majority of the women entrepreneurs (30. 63%) had education below SSC,25. 51% SSC , 21. 55% HSC,14. 98% were graduates, having B. A. /B. Sc. /B. Com degrees. It was found that only 4. 44% had completed their Masters Degree having M. A. /M. Com. /M. Sc. / M. Ag. /MBA degrees. Among the respondents, only 2% had a professional MBBS degree. Since the adult literacy rate (15 years and above) of females in Bangladesh is 48. 8% (BBS, 2008), it is natural that women entrepreneurs would not be highly qualified or educated.

Yet it was true that in spite of their less education, women had succeeded in their entrepreneurial pursuits through the proper use of their talents in business. Though education is necessary today for business development especially for international market and trade, their lacking are met through the various trainings offered for business development for women by NGOs and training institutions in various business issues especially in the urban areas, assisting these women entrepreneurs to succeed. Figure 2:overall educational status 3. 10. 3 Marital status: Majority of the women entrepreneurs of Bangladesh (82. 90%) are married.

The fact that the married women had greater freedom to work outside homes or become women entrepreneurs is because families ties helped women to contribute economically for the family. Moreover, the married women had better opportunities to start business as a career and earn income as women entrepreneurs, since people talked less about married women regarding their off-home activities,especially on income related issues. They had lesser fear of any victimization or problematic situation since their husbands and family members were there to help them out in case of troubles. Their mobility was lesser restricted and husbands most often protected them in case of any serious problems.

Among the lone women who were single, it was found that 10. 63% of the total respondents were unmarried, while 4. 15% were widows, 1. 35% were divorced and . 0. 48% were separated. These single women entrepreneurs were the heads of the families of female-headed households and constituted16. 8% of the total respondents. Figure 3: overall marital status 3. 10 Entrepreneurial activities Types of Enterprises The types of enterprises operated by women found were of the following categories: (1) Traditional; (2) Non-tradition; (3) Household or Family Trade; (4) Labor intensive; (5) Export oriented; (6) Industries with modem technology.

The women have been found to participate in the following: i. Self-Employed: These women have acquired on their own, especially from parents, relatives or friends, the skills and capacities to operate enterprises. Some have under-gone training and apprenticeship or worked as skilled laborers and obtained enough knowledge to start their own business. Self-employed women are lesser in urban areas in comparison to rural areas where greater opportunities lie with the income generating activities of NGOs, which provide credit ii. Enterprise Ownership: These women, are the Owner/operators of existing micro-enterprises, and have proven management and technical skill in self-employment.

They often wish to expand, upgrade or diversify their business through employment of family members as apprenticeship especially in the rural areas or engage and hire workers for the production when the business progresses in the urban areas. This is the popular structure in the urban areas, where market availability helps the women to develop their trade. Many women working as skilled laborers have ventured to start their own business. iii. Manufacturing: Women’s traditional skill enable them to take up manufacturing in areas where raw material for the products is easily available. Women in these activities employ workers as 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. iv.

Family Trade: Many women are involved in the family trades, hereditarily performed through generations and the skill is traditionally kept within the family. Women in such activities have their enterprises or employment based at homesteads. Manufacturing handicrafts or pottery, involved in food preparation, operating individual units of embroidery, tailoring printing, dyeing, weaving, spinning, net making, etc are some of the activities in this structure. These women are helped by family members including males. v. 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. vi.

Sub-Contracting: This new system of generating income in the non-formal sector is providing opportunities for women through a negotiable procedure obtaining orders for products from either, exporters, producers, whole sellers, and middlemen. Women even get orders from enterprise owners, who produce their supplementary goods through these women during peak market demands and these continuous orders provide the women with a stable income. Though the income is not very high, there exits less risks regarding payment. vii. Partners in Business/ Shareholders/ Directors in Family Business Enterprises: Many of the women have become partners or shareholders in larger business firms and industrial units. Some have entered the family industrial or business operations. viii.

Traders, Contractors, Order Suppliers, Business Executives: These new occupations have been mastered by the women even though they have to compete with the men. Though the women have to face tough competitions in these areas, it is remarkable to observe that they have proved themselves efficient in their dealings along with men and have succeeded in their endeavors. ix. Medium and large Industry Owners: Women have become owners of medium and large industrial units either through inheritance or through private initiative. Many educated women are now the proud owners of shipping companies, tea gardens, trading centers, and advertisement firms x.

Women as exporters have ventured into exports directly by themselves or through otherexporters: Export fairs, international trade fairs, single country fairs and initiative by importers have helped the women to produce quality products for exports. Types of Production Units and Trades include the common small scale production units such as Handicrafts with various types of raw materials, Handloom Weaving & Spinning, Basketry, Mat making, Manufacture of Coir products. Fishing Net making, Paddy husking by Dheki, Oil production by Ghani, Jute production and sale, Jute goods production. Pottery, Cane and bamboo products, Seri culture, Silk weaving, Honey Making, Screen print & Batik, Embroidery, Dressmaking. Tailoring, Puffed Rice Making,

Food production (packed or retail sale of dry food), Food Processing, Wood craft & Furniture, Molasses making, Biri (indigenous cigarette made with special leaves) production, Milk production units, dairy and milk products, Dyeing and printing, Book Binding, Confectionery etc. xi. Non-Farm Activities: Cane product and jute carpet making, pigeon rearing for sale, petty trade especially with home-based shops, pond lease for fish cultivation and marketing, flower growing for sale to flower shops in the urban areas, fan and cap making. Small shop keeping, photocopy services, boutique shops, home-based garments making, painting and making of greeting cards, paper-bag making & selling, selling of old tyres etc. xii.

Innovative Products and New Areas: With the introduction of new technology, development of innovative ideas or even demand for new products, a variety of new areas have developed for women’s entrepreneurship growth. These include, artificial flower making, production of straw caps and hats for export, printing of stationery and cards, vegetable dye products for dyeing and printing, patch-work quilt making, cotton spinning from waste garments, stuffed toys, decorative costume jewellery, manufacture of imitation jewellery. Women have also ventured for artificial pond preparation for shrimp culture, women’s pisci-culture project for both domestic and export marketing. 3. 1 Support & services for women entrepreneur 3. 12. 4 Government support Women Entrepreneurship Development in the Constitution of the countryThe Articles 26, 27 & 28 of the Constitution of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh have distinctly mentioned the issue of emancipation and development of the women folk of the country. The Articles 26 and 27 provide for cultural, social and political development of the women folk. The Article 28 on the other hand mentions the issue of equal economic right and opportunities and development of women entrepreneurs. The constitution also includes the issue of the development of the women entrepreneurs (Annex 1). 3. 12. Government’s strategies for women entrepreneurship development Government has set distinct strategies in its National Action Plan (NAP) for the development of the women entrepreneurship, which are: * Adoption of a comprehensive sustainable industrial policy that will promote equity for women and men; * Increase the number of women entrepreneurs; * Ensure women’s easy access to markets; * Develop entrepreneurial skills of the women; * Provide infrastructure facilities for women entrepreneurs; * Upgrade technical “know-how” of women and develop technology suitable for women; * Enable MOI and other related ministries and agencies to address and implement WID issues in comprehensive and coordinated way for effective implementation of the Industrial Policy; * Support research, evaluation and action oriented programs of industry particularly for women engaged in the industrial sector.

The Fifth-Five-Year Plan of the country clearly reflect objectives of the development policies and National Action Plan (NAP), which commit: * Ensure equal rights of women in all spheres of development, including access to information, skills, resources and opportunities; * Enhance the participation of women in political, civil, economic, social and cultural life; * Promote economic self-reliance for women, and generate economic policies that have positive impact on employment and income of women workers in both formal and informal sectors; * Create appropriate institutional arrangements with necessary financial and human resources and authorities at all levels to mainstream women’s concerns in all aspects and sectors of development * Mainstream women’s concern in agriculture and rural development, industry and commerce besides services; * Ensure the visibility and recognition of women’s work and contributions to the economy. 3. 12. Credit policy for Women Entrepreneurs There is no credit policy in the country, which could be devoted for women entrepreneurship development. Certainly it could be questioned: Is specific credit policy necessary for the promotion of the women entrepreneurs? Is it not tenable since the government is issuing or has issued policies concerning almost all the sectors, which have preponderance of private sector involvement including women entrepreneurs. Is not it sufficient to have a well designed credit policy of the country within the framework of a more comprehensive financial policy, which certainly include the necessity of the women entrepreneurs?

There is no policy prescription in the Industrial Policy 1999 that suggests that bank or other financial institutions should have special arrangements for financing women’s enterprises. The Industrial Policy does identify women and their financial or other needs what is done in India where Industry Policy incorporates special arrangements for women enterprises. Thus, it is expected that overcoming the shortcomings of the Industry Policy ’99 in respect of special financing arrangements for women enterprises like permission for using share market for capital mobilization may be considered. In Bangladesh, a special bank named BASIC is established with the mandate to finance small and cottage industries sector.

Since its direct lending program could not be so successful, so it is now operating through NGOs in this respect. But, unfortunately, its mandate is not adequately utilised by the lending of NGOs. The NGOs do not finance small industries or even cottage industries of higher levels. The statistics from1998 in respect of this function of BASIC show that out of 237 projects directly funded by the bank only two were women entrepreneurship related. BASIC’s involvement in funding women’s enterprises can, therefore, be termed very insignificant, in that respect, the function of BASIC is not worth mentioning 3. 12. 7 Financial Intermediaries & agencies support i.

The Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) DCCI is a limited company incorporated under the Companies Act 1913. It was established in the year 1958. It is the largest Chamber of this country at least in terms of membership strength. DCCI has its training cell. Besides, a training institute in the name of DCCI Business Institute (DBI) has been initiated. The Dhaka Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) acknowledged that in Bangladesh women live within the constraints of a conservative society where men are the customary bread earners. Apart from the domestic duties, women have, however, to shoulder a major part of the economic burden of the society to share family expenses.

The DCCI assumed that most of the constraints deterring economic Empowerment of the women are lack of access to economic resources, including credit, absence to support services, better training and skills, limited access to power and lack of access to larger quantum of resources. So, initiated two projects – one is TIPS and the second the DCCI-CIPE, ERRA Project supported by the US Chamber of Commerce, Washington, D. C. , USA. * Standing Committee of the DCCI DCCI activities run through a number of important standing committees. Women Entrepreneurship Development standing committee is one of such very important committees which acts as the nucleus to activate the women entrepreneurship development activities in the chamber.

The committee works for finding out ways and means for the growth and development of the Women Entrepreneurs engaged in business and industry and to educate and encourage them for participation in nation building activities. The committee arranges meetings, seminars, symposiums to create adequate awareness in this regard. It also works for creating favourable environment and circumstances for inducting/engaging women entrepreneurs in the field of trade and industry and to help them in setting up business houses in all possible ways. The committee also formulate suggestions and recommendations for improvement of services to this class of entrepreneurs by the government/public institutions and organization. The problems of the women entrepreneurs are raised and mitigated through the standing committee. ii.

Micro Industry Development Assistance and Services (MIDAS) Micro Industries Development Assistance and Services (MIDAS), a private sector organisation, promotes development of small enterprises with a view to generate employment opportunities. It was formed with the financial support of USAID in 1982 and assisted till 1993. Now it is a self-sustained counselling organisation for the promotion of micro industries, which has the following functions: * Collation and dissemination of information on small and micro enterprises, * Carrying out socio-economic studies and research, * Identifying industrial projects of innovative nature, * Promoting women entrepreneurship, providing technical, and * Managerial assistance in the from of counselling, and training to existing and potential entrepreneurs. MIDAS Financing Ltd. the sister concern of MIDAS, a non-bank financial institution licensed by Bangladesh Bank from October 1999 under the Financial Institutions Act. 1993 has taken over the enterprise financing of MIDAS. It is also implementing the Women Entrepreneurship Development (WED) program of MIDAS, which aims at mainstreaming women entrepreneurs. The activities of the WED Cell includes but is not limited to, the followings: * Attending walk-in-clients * Networking * Holding monthly meetings with women entrepreneurs and sharing thoughts, ideas and problems on business issues. * Potential entrepreneurs are encouraged to attend the monthly meetings where they can seek advice and expertise from established businesswomen.

Anyone can attend these meetings. * Organizing workshops and inviting guest speakers to share their views * Organizing training programs. Providing marketing facilities by establishing and supervising sales outlets (MIDAS MINI MART) for women entrepreneurs; so far 4 such units have been established * Financing suitable projects of women entrepreneurs and monitoring these projects. More than 400 micro and small enterprises owned and run by women entrepreneurs have been financed by MIDAS till October, 2000 iii. Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation (BSCIC) The BSCIC supports enable some of its beneficiaries to emerge as small entrepreneurs.

But the women beneficiaries seem to be completely neglected by the BSCIC in its respective activities. The women who were able to emerge as entrepreneurs due to supports of the BSCIC, make very few beneficiaries of the kind. & women beneficiaries of BSCIC manage their business self. iv. Banchte Shekha(Learn how to Survive) Banchte Shekha is one of the largest women and children organizations in the southern part of Bangladesh based in Jessore working since 1976 to improve the socio-economic condition of women in the region with a long-term objective to empower women and reduce poverty in the depressed areas for the disadvantage people particularly vulnerable women.

Established in 1976 it has grown to serve more than 1,50,000 women and 1700 groups in 1201 villages of Khulna and Dhaka division, indirectly more than 10 lacs people are being benefited by Banchte Shekha’s programmes. The organization is registered with the Department of Social Welfare and under the Foreign Donations (Voluntary) Regulation Act. On Going Program: Development Program for physically disable girl children, Community Based Fisheries Management Program, National Action Plan Development Program for victims of violence and trafficking ad so on. Activities : * Institution Building strengthening * Capacity Building of Organization and Group Income Generating Activities for Group and organizational Sustainability * Provide Credit facilities for women economic development * Primary Health care services provide to women and children * Create awareness among group members about right issues * Solve different women violence related incidently by implanting Alternative Dispute Resolution * Mobilize and strengthen fishing communities and the wider communities and empower this communities to manage fishery and wetland resources in sustainable ways * Ensure more equitable access to fishery resources, and in particular assist and facilitate access of organized groups of poor fishers to decision making over the waterbodies they use. v. WEA(Women Entrepreneurs’ Association) Women Entrepreneurs Association, Bangladesh (WEA) was founded in 1994. This organization has a membership of women business owners and women business owner organizations throughout Bangladesh. WEA was founded as a result of the scintillating energy and enthusiasm generated by 150 women entrepreneurs participating in a workshop on “Women in Business” funded jointly by Norad & ILO, it was organized by the Bangladesh Employers Association.

This workshop held on the 18th and 19th December, 1993 was inaugurated by the then Prime Minister Begum Khaleda Zia, the Chief Guest at the closing session was the leader of the opposition Sheikh Hasina. WEA aims at the identification and evaluation of national measures related to start-ups, information, advice, facilitating access to credit, mentoring and networks concerning the promotion of female entrepreneurship. Counselling is designed for both groups and individuals. Group based counselling give women a chance to make contacts, to network and to learn from the experience of others. Individual based counseling allows women to receive highly effective advice directly related to the problem they face.

Measures supporting enterprise start ups are focused on sectors that can provide women with an adequate income, thereby increasing womens financial self sufficiency. Women are supported to move into higher value markets in traditional or new sectors. vi. WISE (Women In Small Enterprises) Founded in 1996 Women In Small Enterprises (WISE) is again another organization of Women Entrepreneurs, formed as a need and demand from borrowers of collateral free loan given by MIDAS. Their businesses were rising and expanding as were their loan facilities increasing. These women needed to network and wanted to help other women to join the business world to do business.

The members of WISE are an active vibrant group that makes linkages between their members and other bigger organizations like Super Markets and other Buying Houses. WISE has worked jointly with the Bangladesh Girls Guide Association to give Start up Trainings and Skilled Trainings to young potential women entrepreneurs from various districts of Bangladesh. WISE has worked with the Government of Bangladesh on advocacy to facilitate micro credit for women. Some of the priorities that WISE has in its objectives include : Established in 1976 it has grown to serve more than 1,50,000 women and 1700 groups in 1201 villages of Khulna and Dhaka division, indirectly more than 10 lacs people are being benefited by Banchte Shekha’s programmes.

The organization is registered with the Department of Social Welfare and under the Foreign Donations (Voluntary) Regulation Act. On Going Program: a. Membership development how to create a more active empowered membership. b. Networking essential to expanding Women’s businesses and the reach of their organization. c. Training instruction in managing and developing businesses. d. Information sharing information regarding banks giving loans to women, access to capital, and working capital. e. Product development Product Improvement and Product development. f. Marketing facilitating marketing by holding trade fairs. 3. 12 Challenges of women entrepreneurs

Since women are new in certain aspects of entrepreneurship, they face constraints in many ways, causing hindrances to their regular activities. * Male middlemen suppliers, contractors and exporters dominate the industry and take advantage of women’s isolation in the home and lack of access to credit, supplies and knowledge about the economy of their work. They are handicapped in the current centralized wholesale market set-up controlled by men, due to their physical stature often encounter “mastans”(hood looms) rowdy males, whom they find hard to tackle and are stressed to pay money on demand. * Women entrepreneurs are often cheated by their male partners in trade through unscrupulous means which may turn hazardous when apt to encounter. Home-based workers lack access to inputs and services like credit, input supplies, markets and new technology that could increase their productivity. * Rural women do not generally own physical assets that can be used as collateral for loans, as assets are usually in the names of their male relatives. * They are generally poor and lacking in both education and self-confidence. * They are perpetually in debt to money-lenders or to wholesale suppliers who create serious problems, thus losing much of their meager earning in paying exorbitant weekly interest charges. * They often suffer the indignities of sexual harassment, being jostled away from prime selling spots. Sometimes their movements are restricted due to security reasons. Women have no legal knowledge or help in protecting their industries and often fall victims to illegal threats or criminal offences. * Problems in business are various. Inadequacy of capital is still the main problem and where available the high interest rates discourage investment. * Non-availability of efficient or skilled labor, absence of marketing facilities for women and the absence of proper sales centre are some of the major obstacles to smooth transactions in business. * Products are sometimes put up for sale on credit basis creating problems in the collection of the sale money. * Due to lack of storing facilities and space, the women entrepreneurs suffer serious problems through damage or theft of the products. The prices of products are often kept low because of competition. Other problems arise when the buyer does not provide the actual price or the whole-seller takes goods on credit. * Lack of improved implements and machinery, existing competition faced due to expansion of production, difficulty in the procurement of raw materials, problems of sales collection, problems increased by middlemen, constraints in transportation and marketing are existing problems for business. * Lack of management and production skill, lack of healthy workplace environment and especially lack of training facilities are some of the major constraints which should be overcome for teady functioning of the business. * 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. * Government fiscal policy and the income tax policy (VAT & Tax) are not favorable to a Woman Entrepreneur. * Bank loan procedures are not that easy because of some bureaucratic problems. * Women Entrepreneurs basically starts their entrepreneurship on SME idea based. For SME Idea based business government policy is not favorable for the protection of the ideas. * Lack of recognition from the society before success makes the Women Entrepreneur to loss their motivation. Absence of advisory help and lack of patience are also another challenges of Women Entrepreneurship. Some more challenges • Low Investment; • Low Profit Activities; • Slower Growth Rates of Women Owned Enterprise; • Institutionalized Inequality at the Macro-level and Household levels; • Women’s Restricted Access to Property, Income and Credit; • Institutionalized Discrimination in Legal Systems; • Access to and Control over Resources; • Gender based Social Impediments; • Unfavorable Infrastructure and Support Systems 3. 13 Key to success of Women Entrepreneurship in Bangladesh * Everything in the beginning does not go in favor of any Entrepreneur. So every Women Entrepreneur should have enough patience to carry on. Every Women Entrepreneur should posses a long term vision to success. * Ambition is regarded as an inspiring fact to be a successful Women Entrepreneur. * Honesty and integrity smooth the way to success. * Hardworking ability boosts the confidence of Women Entrepreneur. * Family inspiration never let them down. * Engaging in production or rural industrial activities seems to be the most viable avenue for which the women should be assisted to take up. * Non-government organizations have equally joined hands with the government efforts for economic salvation and provided various forms of opportunities for women to help them earn their living, paving the way for greater entrepreneurship development. The urban areas have greater opportunities for business development but the areas where women lack assistance is in the access to credit, provision of skill training, and market facilities. * Development of Banks with separate advisory service cell for women. * Separate counters in counters in commercial banks for women. * Arrangement of exclusive fairs to promote products manufactured by small & cottage based units * Fixed quota of stalls for women entrepreneurs at export fairs. * Special market facilities both in the domestic and the international arena. 3. 14 Case study of some successful entrepreneurs Case study 1:Persona Kaniz Almas Khan, CEO of Persona, a renowned makeover artist, beauty specialist and successful woman entrepreneur in Bangladesh.

She has discovered people’s beauty in a new dimension which turned her into a successful Woman Entrepreneur in Bangladesh. Now Persona is an organization which provides world class beauty care services with all new features that anyone can ever dream off in Bangladesh. Whoever thought about a beauty parlor with a management team, executives, service providers and many other stake holders? The visionary of this vision is Kaniz Almas Khan. Journey of Persona: Like other successful entrepreneurs in the world, Kaniz Almas Khan had a long-term vision which is enabling Persona to grow rapidly. 1990 – 1998 – Beginning of journey as Glamour. 1998 – 2002 – Starting of Persona with 12 performers working in 1800 sqft. 002- Extension of Persona with 50 performers working in 3800 sqft. 2002 – 2004 – Growth of Persona with 100 performers working in 3800 sqft. 2005 – Introducing the largest beauty care facility in Asia with around 200 performers working in 11000 sqft with Studio Persona. Tree is growing ? A global standard fashion magazine named Canvas, which is a sister concern of Persona. ? Very first male beauty care center named Persona Adams. ? A joint venture beauty care center of Persona with famous Indian beauty care specialist Jawed Habib named Habibs @ Persona. ? Persona is going to open a Gym named Persona Health. ? Persona has introduced Studio Persona, a fully equipped modern photo studio in its premise. Persona has already introduced a Spa center named Persona Spa. ? Persona has just launched Persona Institute of beauty and life style, the first ever institute of its kind in Bangladesh. It is an approved center of Edexcel International UK to offer BTEC Diploma in Bangladesh. Story of Kaniz Almas Khan – It’s not a fairy tale She had a deep passion on beautification of human being. From this passion she went for a beautification course with a view to beautifying herself as well as the people around her after her Higher Secondary exam. Her passion for beautification and the desire to do something creative & independent led her to become a Woman Entrepreneur.

Starting from Glamour along with 9 performers in only 1200 sqft, Kaniz Almas Khan has reached to the current Persona. Now Persona is not a beauty care center only, rather its an institution of beauty & lifestyle where people can gather skills and knowledge necessary to practice the art of beauty in a competent and professional manner. Mother is the best friend of a girl. During her teenage she got huge support from her mother. She got 1200 taka from her mother to do the beautification course in her early life. This was the first step taken by Kaniz Almas Khan to be a Woman Entrepreneur. Kaniz Almas Khan, herself was lucky enough that she got a very supportive mother-in-law who gave immense support both mentally and financially.

Unusual but true fact is that her mother-in-law gave her initial business set up money. Then she started her first venture Glamour. Not only her mother-in-law but also all the in laws, husband and peer groups were her great support. Challenges she faced: Kaniz Almas Khan was lucky enough that she has faced a few challenges as being a Woman Entrepreneur. But still some challenges are there like: ? Some financial challenges were faced by her as being a Woman while expanding Persona. ? Government fiscal policy and the income tax policy (VAT & Tax) are not favorable to a Woman Entrepreneur. Like other Woman Entrepreneurs, Kaniz Almas Khan faces the same problem.

She thinks that this is one of the complicated issues for a Woman Entrepreneur. According to Kaniz Almas Khan, her organization wants to pay tax and VAT to the government but the process is not Entrepreneur friendly. Case study 2:KRI EVENTS Women across the world spend months, if not years, planning their perfect wedding. Ever since she can remember, Anika Azam, an Economics graduate of North South University, has dreamt of planning not just her own wedding, but those of young couples across Bangladesh. “I knew what I wanted to do but I did not really know how to go about it,” says the 27-year-old co-founder and managing partner of events management firm, Kri Events. There were a few big names in decorating and planning weddings, but a career in wedding planning still wasn’t considered serious or possible. After graduating from university, Anika worked for Chevron for one year but hated it. “ soon I realised that doing a 9 to 5 job was not something that was meant for me. “When I quit my job, everyone was shocked and I had friends telling me it was stupid of me,” recalls Anika. “But I’d rather earn less and do something I really love. ” My parents were very supportive and my father just advised me to get a male partner on board as in Bangladesh it could be difficult for me as a young girl,” explains Anika, who is passionate about her job.

A lot of people have inspired me throughout my student years– university teachers who I look up to even today, my family and even my friends. From my early years, I was always actively involved with helping out cousins and friends at weddings, decorating dalas and deciding what songs to dance to. I was also involved with a lot of club activities in university through out the years. I was also the General Secretary of the North South University Social Services Club, and that is where I got a hold of organising events and learnt to deal with different people. University was where I actually became a more open minded person. . And obviously , these experience got me the courage and the confidence to start my own business.

I heard and read stories about existing entrepreneurs who did so much and worked hard to reach where they have reached today. I read about a particular business woman who was awarded the best women entrepreneur about five years ago and thought to myself that someday maybe I will get that award. I always wanted to do something on my own ever since I can remember. Three friends joined Anika as partners in 2008 and together they planned, decorated and executed a friend’s sister’s wedding. “The concept of taking care of everything was relatively new,” says Anika. “We like to think of ourselves as the one-stop solution for everything, we never say we won’t try, and we’re not exclusive to the rich.

Whatever the budget our clients may have, we try to make the most out of their money and sometimes even save them money Having had a personal hand in more than 350 weddings in the last three years, including one with 5,000 guests, Anika has made her childhood ambition not only a career but a successful business. She employs a team of 4 full-time and up to 20 part-time staff that organise not just weddings but concerts, private parties and corporate events. Anika even counts her former employers, Chevron, as a client. “They were surprised by my career change but it’s very humbling and gratifying that they trust me with their business. Despite the expanding business, Anika says she would like to continue working on weddings. “I like the fact I’m dealing with families. They have creative and personal ideas I can help with,” explains Anika, who is not yet married herself.

When asked about her own nuptials, she says, “Friends joke about it. I’m going to plan my wedding but I don’t know who will execute it, so that will be interesting! Case study 3:Masud Pathan Dairy Firm Happy Akter is a woman entrepreneur and owner Masud Pathan Dairy firm was born in 1980 at Manikdha under the district of Dhaka. Her father’s name is Abdul Karim. He was a bank employee. Happy Akter studied up to intermediate but she could not run his study as her father died in 1998. She was married off in the next year. She was the teacher of prosikha. She saw her neighbor woman were raring cattle. So she inspired of them & started to rare cow. She started His business by one cow.

Gradually by selling milk in the local market she increase her number of cows now she has twenty five cows. She did not take any loan besides Fifty thousand taka from Krishi Bank. In 2005 she was in great loss become her two cows were died affecting Torka disease. She overcome that situation by the help of her husband & brothers. Then she started dairy food business in Middle bashaboo name Masud Phathan Dairy firm. The aim of this is to supply pure milk & sweets. In the mean time she saw that buying cow food from retailer at costly so she started to purchase cow food from whole seller. She also sells them to the other firm’s owner. In 2008 she made a Bio- Gas Plant. She uses it in the time of load shedding.

She has four employees for looking after the cows & shops. She earns four to five luck taka yearly. Her future plan is to increase the number of cows. In her views, Sometimes she has to suffer from various diseases that is causes of died of cow. Government should come forward to promte this vital sector. Chapter 4: Recommendations & Conclusion Recommendations : Analysis of the government national policy regarding women entrepreneurship development, critical analysis of the supporting activities of the public, private and non-government organizations and agencies and analysis of the data and information let us direct to propose suggestion for the development of the women entrepreneurship. i.

Development Policies and Strategies * In respect of the government development policy, strategy and direction following suggestion may be made: * National Action Plan for the development of women entrepreneurship should provision those necessary steps should be undertaken to feed women entrepreneurs with resources. * Ensuring the Implementation of the Policies of National Action Plan. * Ensuring Implementation of the Beijing UN Convention on Women Development Financial Policies and Strategies * In respect of the policy, strategy and function of Bangladesh Bank and Commercial Banks following suggestion may be made: * Identification of viable women entrepreneurs Establishing credit guarantee scheme for women entrepreneurs * Sinking interest rate for loans for women entrepreneurs * Setting up special window for financing women entrepreneurs * Pre- and post investment counselling for women entrepreneurs for credit * Allocation of women share in equity development and fund * Preferential treatment of the women entrepreneurs by credit in thrust sectors * Monitoring of credit disbursement for women entrepreneurs * Maintaining gender based data on credit disbursement and dissemination information on credit opportunities * Establishing a women bank * Enabling credit for the women without collateral ii. Institutional and Technical Support * Establishing strong relation among different institutions and agencies involved in the development of the women in general and sharing their experiences * Establishing strong relation among different chambers and business organisation to ensure support for development of the women entrepreneurs Study and Lobbying Studying prospect on joint venture and providing support in this respect to the willing women entrepreneurs * Undertaking sector based study to identify potential sectors and ensure women participation * Preparing sector based study paper to collect viable information and lobby with government for necessary reform iii. Management Support * Arranging management training for women entrepreneurs * Providing personnel support in this respect if necessary Marketing Support * Supporting and ensuring the participation of the women entrepreneurs in national and international trade fairs * Arranging display centre for national and international for the products of the women entrepreneurs * Counselling and supplying of national and international trade information regularly Conclusion: Women have now become aware of their socio-economic rights and have ventured to avail the opportunities initiated for them.

Rural Bangladesh is now a changed scenario for the women who have gathered courage to break barriers and enter the off-house working force as entrepreneurs and workers – a situation not appropriate for women or accepted by the society in the past. Working as labor may give them temporary employment but it does not improve their conditions or promote their advancement. Scope of trading activities especially in the rural areas, in view of extensive poverty and the large number of people who need to engage in income earning activities, is limited. Women entrepreneurship is not only a source of income generation but also a way of achieving economic independence.

Women that are involved in enterprise are better off compared to those that are not. Realizing the importance of women entrepreneurship, Bangladesh government has taken several initiatives to encourage women getting involved in various micro, small and medium enterprises. Meanwhile, banks, financial institutionshave also given importance to developing women entrepreneurs in Bangladesh. These financial intermediaries provide credits to MSMEs sector particularly the women entrepreneurs, in line with Bangladesh Bank guidelines. However, there is a greater lack of integration among various supportive organizations and lack of communal efforts to have sustainable benefits.

The remaining challenges are lack of collateral free loans, traditional technology, skilled and trained manpower, training and educational institutions, and infrastructure and utility services and so on. Hence, there should have rights policy adjustment, their proper implementation and others necessary initiatives will pave the way for the emergence and development to women entrepreneurs’development in Bangladesh. These actions will not only contribute significantly to national economy but will economically and socio-culturally empower women assisting in their gender role liberalization. List of figures: Figure 1: overall age distribution7

Figure 2: overall educational status7 Figure 3: overall marital status8 References 1. Dr. A R Khan. (2009). Entrepreneurship Small Business and Lives of successful Entrepreneurs. Second Edition. Brothers Publication’s. 2. Dr. Abdul Awal Khan, Dr. M. A. Taher. (2012). Business communication and Report Writing. Third Edition. Abir Publication. 3. WED (2001). Economic Policy Paper on Women Entrepreneurs in Bangladesh, Dhaka Bangladesh. 4. www. bfwe. org 5. www. bscic. org 6. Women entrepreneurship development in Bangladesh: What are the challenges ahead? By Lovely Parvin, Jia Jinrong* and M. Wakilur Rahman(2012) 7. www. dhakachamber. com/cipe/EPP-WED. htm

Cite this Women Entrepreneurship in Case of Bangladesh

Women Entrepreneurship in Case of Bangladesh. (2016, Oct 02). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/women-entrepreneurship-in-case-of-bangladesh/

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