The paper aims to analyze the critical factors of women entrepreneurship development in rural Bangladesh. The analysis is based on recent theoretical ideas that have been supported by empirical research findings. The paper depicts an analytical framework based on institutional theory, which focuses on three kinds of factors: regulative, normative, and cognitive. Regulative factors refer to different rules and regulations of the Government that facilitate women entrepreneurship development in rural Bangladesh. Normative and cognitive factors include norms, rules, regulation, and values of society. Based on the analysis of these factors, the paper provides many significant policy implications on how to improve women entrepreneurship development in rural Bangladesh.
* Department of Public Administration, Rajshahi University, Rajshahi-6205, Bangladesh. Comments are welcome; please send any communication directly to the author: firstname.lastname@example.org. 1
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 them in social, economic and cultural fields. The power of and 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. A good number of studies have been done on entrepreneurship in Bangladesh. Habibullah (1987) showed that training is an effective tool for entrepreneurship development in Bangladesh. Rahman, Mian, Bhattacharjee and Khan (1979) critically appraised the impact of different programs and policies relating to entrepreneurship and small enterprises. Habibur Rahman (1995) emphasized the importance of project viability, collateral and entrepreneurial evaluation at the project appraisal level of banks. Saleh (1995) found inadequate cash flows, marketing deficits and discriminating treatment from supportive service agencies to create obstacles to women entrepreneurship development in Bangladesh. Rahman (1999) examines women borrowers’ involvement with the microcredit program of the Grameen Bank, and the grassroots lending structure of the bank. He focuses on the processes of village-level microcredit operation and addresses the realities of the day-to-day lives of women borrowers and bank workers and explains informant strategies for involving themselves in this microcredit scheme. The study also covers some power dynamics. Aktaruddin (1999) showed that personal attributes are key factors for entrepreneurial success or failure, while Aktaruddin (2000) focused on the social-economic background of the entrepreneurs. Momen and Begum (2006) measured the impact BRAC’s micro credit program had for the development of rural women entrepreneurship. Afrin, Islam and Ahmed (2008) aimed at identifying the factors related to the development of entrepreneurship among the rural women borrowers through micro credit programs. Using a multivariate analysis, they showed that financial management skills and the group identity of the women borrowers have significant relationship with the development of rural women entrepreneurship in Bangladesh. Most recently, Rotaru (2009) provided a case study on the Bangladesh Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BWCCI), which was established in 2001, as the country’s first trade body working exclusively for women’s economic and social empowerment. The aim of this paper is to analyze the critical factors of women entrepreneurship development in rural Bangladesh. The paper represents two types of such factors; one type can be characterized as facilitating factors, and the other one as stumbling blocking factors. Facilitating factors refer to those factors that ensure women entrepreneurship development, whereas stumbling blocking factors...