Diverse Settings, Questions and Approaches
Edited by Karen D. Hughes and Jennifer E. Jennings
Chapter 2: Women-owned SMEs in Bangladesh: Challenges in Institutional Financing
Salma C. Zohir and Patricia G. Greene INTRODUCTION The role of women in building the small business economy and driving economic growth in countries around the world is increasingly being recognized (Kelly et al., 2010; Allen et al., 2008; Brush et al., 2006; Minnitti, 2006). However, the most recent Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) report, drawing on annual national assessments of entrepreneurial activity, shows that women’s participation in entrepreneurship varies greatly according to country (Kelly et al., 2010). These differences are generally attributed to factors such as culture, access to resources, industrial bases and governmental policies (Brush, et al., 2006; Acs et al., 2005; Minnitti et al., 2005). Many questions remain about how these factors (and potentially others) impact entrepreneurial behaviours and outcomes. Access to capital is reported as a challenge for most entrepreneurs around the world (Allen et al., 2008). Capital is considered as one of the primary fuels to support business growth, and yet consistently questions arise around women’s ability to access necessary capital (Carter et al., 2003; Greene et al., 2006). While the role of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) is seen as vital for the growth and development of Bangladesh (Ahmed, 2008), little is known about the role of women in this environment. This chapter adds to the body of knowledge regarding women entrepreneurship by providing a profile of female-run SMEs in Bangladesh. In focusing on Bangladesh, we summarize the degree and type of institutional (governmental) support for female-run SMEs, present the results of primary research into...
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