Social Capital and Women Entrepreneurship in Bangladesh

Topics: Sociology, Poverty, Economics Pages: 13 (3708 words) Published: January 10, 2013

It has been forty years since our glorious independence for which millions of people willingly sacrificed their lives. But the matter of great regret is that still the people of this nation have to fight, not against the enemy, but against hunger, starvation, and poverty. Almost half of the population is still living under the poverty line. Many economic plans had been adopted by the policy-makers to improve the poor economic condition of the people. Long time has already passed away but the poor economic condition has not significantly improved. Bangladesh is a third-world Muslim country in which gender discrimination is a chronic problem. For this reasons one of the important plans the micro-credit program, which targeted to improve the total economy by improving the economic condition of the rural women through micro-entrepreneurship, has not been as successful and effective as it was expected. Due to various gender-related reasons such as gender discrimination, social, cultural and religious barriers, male-dominant society, lack of access to business resources, a very few number of women entrepreneurs under the microcredit program have seen the success. The poor women, in general, have not been much benefitted from the micro-credit program. Hence, the policy-makers are in search of new and more effective alternative to fight poverty. Various studies on the successful women entrepreneurs indicate that those women are more likely to be successful who have strong social capital. This study has come up with various cases showing the positive inter-relation between social capital and women entrepreneurship. Social capital refers to the strength of social values, norms and social networks which have high potential to broaden the path of success for micro-entrepreneurships. Social capital involves not only the household values and networks but also relationship with the broader society. The NGOs have critical role to play to build up social capital among the rural women which will promote accurate decision making with combination of resources mobilization, communication and conflict resolution. Ultimately, it will result in making effective and efficient projects at the field level and the poverty is expected to be reduced significantly.


The article “Social Capital and Women Entrepreneurship in Bangladesh” written by Dr. A. N. M. Shibly Noman Khan has been sourced from Independent Business Review, Volume 2, Number 1, January 2009, 41-64 The problem discussed in this article is about the inability of micro-credit system to alleviate poverty greatly and improve overall economic condition of rural poor women of Bangladesh through successful women entrepreneurship. Instead, social capital has been referred to as a significant and effective alternative in the present structure of society which can cause the economic condition improve faster and better than micro-credit can do. Poverty has been the primary economic problem of Bangladesh for long. But it is inconceivable to plan for improving this poor economic condition by wasting half of the human resources (women) by discrimination on the ground of sex. In the patriarchal society most of the women are deprived of their due rights, privileges and freedom of taking decisions about their lives. They are the helpless victims of cultural taboos and societal prejudice. Male dominance in agricultural farming, population density and landholding capacity have kept them away from agricultural development (Mohanty, 1991; Scott, 1995). Poor women are deprived of the access to credit from formal financial institutions. They are denied their due moral and social status in the society and most of them are still living in an oppressed condition in this male dominant society mostly in the rural areas. But few of them have been successful in midst of adversity by virtue of family support or charismatic personality. But the number of these...
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