PaperInk: Write your thoughts
Submission no: 11
Topic: Women Entrepreneurship in our economy
Name: Tanjuman Mamun Shaejuty
Institution: Jahangirnagar University
The participation of women in entrepreneurship is rising high day by day in every nation so does in Bangladesh. Right now, as a developing country, Bangladesh is getting most of its inclusion from the women entrepreneurship. The participation of women in the productivity and economy is speeding up the development of our country. So, this essay is going to discuss the women empowerment as well as their contribution to the economy. Lastly, it will be concluded with some of the proposals which can increase the flow of their participation.
Women entrepreneurship: The new horizon for Bangladesh
In this modern era, with the help of SMEs, where establishing a business is easier, women are getting more opportunities to become an active contributor in the economy of Bangladesh.
There is a survey of Mastercard Index of Women Entrepreneurs (MIWE 2019) that shows that, Bangladesh ranked 57th last year among the 100 economies countries in the world.
From the above-mentioned figure, it can be seen that, Bangladesh has a good growth rate but it is still lagging behind India. The growth percentage rose to 4.4 per cent with the score point of 35.2 out of 100. According to Dr Zahid Hossain, the lead economist of World Bank, currently, women workforce is contributing 35% of the total GDP of Bangladesh and he also mentioned if Bangladesh can raise the entrepreneurship by 10% in the next 5 years then they will drive the GDP by 1%.
From the figure above which relates to the research, it can be seen that most of the women start their own business just to support their family or to gain enough financial independence so that they can gain security socially. The other reasons are:
✓ To gain autonomy and freedom at their workplace: It can be said that, women who wants more freedom are have been discriminated in the workplace before in the matter of payment or promotion.
✓ Less dependence and more satisfaction with the work: It refers that owing a business of her own can give them the freedom to organize it according to her willing. Then they won’t need to depend on others to balance their work-life with personal and it’ll lead to more productivity.
In the recent surveys, it was seen that the rate of women in the business formation is rising significantly in Bangladesh but the rate is still fewer than the men. According to the Economic Census of 2019, the female-headed establishment was 0.59 million which is 8.21%. most of the sectors of women contribution are these:
The graph shows that most of the women prefer tailoring for their business. Then Jamdani or clothing business or retailing. Even I’ve a Jamdani online retailing shop. SME plays a great role in the women empowerment. It can be seen that most of them are SMEs and they cover the 87% of the women entrepreneurship.
They contribute in creating employment, alleviating the poverty and to empower more women. Moreover, they’re the major contributor to the economy of our country. Some of the greatest benefits of women entrepreneurship are:
➢ Creating economic impact: As mentioned earlier, they’re now the major contributor in the economy which is increasing day by day. Their works not only is helping the economy but also providing security to their families.
➢ Creating social impact: After economic impact, here comes the social impacts which they’re creating by diversifying the business world strongly. According to an entrepreneur
Magazine, female founders are creating new models in the leadership by providing their valuable insights as well as unique solutions.
The necessary support:
There is no doubt that they’re moving forward in the right direction but also there are some critic areas where they need the most assistance. These are:
➢ Funding: Grameen Bank plays an important role in the women entrepreneurship development by providing them financial helps as well as social capitals. The repayment system has been kept flexible and it doesn’t need any collateral or interest. This system gives them security for a long time, that’s why; they get enough time to manage their business well.
➢ Mentorship: Bangladesh Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BWCCI) is continuously providing training to more than 40000 women in about 120 upazillas across the country so that they can enable them to get the right directions. Moreover, Selima, the vice president of Nitol-Niloy Group is providing training as well as after that giving financial support to them so that they can achieve their goals.
➢ Experience: Women also need enough education so that they can understand the entrepreneurial world. There are many companies which are helping women in the local levels to get training, education as well as mentoring them to promote women entrepreneurship at all levels. Center for Women & Enterprise (CWE) along with Grameen Telecom Trust serving the forum for women entrepreneurship.
Reasons behind loss progress:
The country’s progress in this matter isn’t satisfactory. This poor progress in women’s advancement has several reasons. These are:
As it is seen that, about 30% of the SMEs in these emerging markets are owned and dominated by women but still they have lower average growth rate than men. This disparity is making women face difficulties to obtain a loan to start their own business. Moreover, the lacking of having enough other financial resources such as having a bank account is also impacting it negatively. The Asia Foundation with the association with the University of Dhaka’s Center on Budget and Policy
(CBP) has examined these gender gap which is affecting their business along with poor policy and capacity constraints.
The study has further found that the key barrier also includes: the lack of having adequate knowledge about business opportunities and the credit facilities, hesitation to apply for the loan in a commercial bank, high interest on the loan in there, rigid policies about the paperwork and not knowing to whom to contact about the clear information.
Recent information about the development of women entrepreneurship:
In this new budget, a 12-member team has been designed to discuss the further improvement that we can bring to develop the empowerment. The team consists of members from Bangladesh Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BWCCI), Honorable Minister, Ministry of Finance, Government of Peoples Republic of Bangladesh. This year, the Finance Minister has made a contribution of 100 crores taka in this department and also has announced to increase the credit facilities.
The President of BWCCI, Ms Selima Ahmed has announced their latest endeavour `Empower 5000’ which is the new project to train 5000 new women in various district levels to diversify the engagement. With these new projects and planning, we surely can hope to make new milestones in future in this field.
Historically, there are fewer number of women entrepreneurs than men due to various factors such as managing both home and business is harder for them or due to discrimination and cultural diversity. Now, the question is, how we can assist to grow the number of female entrepreneurship? So, the following are given some suggestions which I think can be followed to give them more empowerment.
➢ The Government should come forward along with different NGOs and SMEs to give the financial as well as other necessary training for running a business. Financing is their major problem. So, different state banks can introduce more flexible and less interest percentage loan offers for them.
➢ There should be more online as well as offline courses for them which will provide the visual experience and education on various topics. It’ll help to increase their leadership skills, knowledge and will also encourage them to become entrepreneurs.
➢ Introducing gender-sensitive policies at the workplace and implementing it. There are already some regulations about it but those aren’t maintained properly.
➢ Making the environment easier for them. In here the environment refers to both the social and workplace environment. We all know, that the atmosphere isn’t great for a woman to work late or work alone. So, we need to give them the proper security.
So, from the above discussion, it can be said that the entry of women in the entrepreneurship is the result of the complex mix of opportunities as well as constraints. There are some external impulses and aspirations. So, the nation needs to give them the right motivation so that there can be more female entrepreneurs. They have the same ability as men. All they need is our support which can make their journey easier.