Saturday Report: Empowering Women Entrepreneurs

women empower

Women entrepreneurs are those women who suppose of a business enterprise, initiate it, organize and combine factors of product, operate the enterprise and shoulder pitfalls and handle profitable query involved in running it. Bangladesh is now an emerging country in every aspect and a role model for women’s empowerment in the world.

 If the women of our country have been conscious, self-efficacy and mobilized the resources that will encourage women entrepreneurship. Women constitute almost half (49.4%) the total population of Bangladesh. In accordance with the reports of Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS), the female labour force has increased significantly by 4.6%, and the unemployment rate among female graduates is 2.5 times higher than that of their male peers. Female graduates are much more likely to be unemployed and drop out of school after two years of graduation: 43% of female university graduates are unemployed as opposed to 37% male graduates.

Bangladesh is a prosperous country. Participation in any kind of economic activity empowers women and establishes their strong position in society. Economic security is a great achievement in a woman’s life. Without women entrepreneurship women empowerment is not fully bloomed. In Bangladesh women are not interested in becoming an entrepreneur due to various social obstacles and financial incapability. As half of our population is female, without their participation in the economic sector the country’s development will not happen.  According to the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) literacy report 2020, the literacy rate stood at 74.70% in 2020, which was 73.91% in 2018. After facing all odd situations women empowerment is somewhere missing. Women empowerment is emerging but the success rate of women is very poor. Because in this male dominating society, to achieve economic solvency and targeted success of women is very rare. But if they are conscious, self-efficacy and mobilized the resources then through s-commerce the success rate may increase. A woman can become an entrepreneur sitting at home and using her own skill or local resources to produce a product or service and serve the nation. She can make money and contribute it to the family by using modern technology. In this way, the per capita income and GDP of our country will increase. So overall economic development has happened.

It is undeniable that entrepreneurship plays an important role in sustainable development and poverty alleviation by creating job opportunities and providing support to low-income groups such as youth and women. The contribution of the women workforce to the GDP growth of Bangladesh is 34%, and it is being estimated that a 10% increase in their participation would upsurge the growth by 1%. On condition that if Bangladesh could expand women’s employment by only 10%, it would add an additional $ 11.3 billion to its economy. A 1% increase in women’s employment could effectively boost economic growth by 0.31%.

Bangladesh, as a fast developing country, can benefit the most from the inclusion of women in the business world. Economic participation of women and control of their ownership of productive resources accelerates development, helps to overcome poverty, reduce inequality and improve living standards. Women can give back more of their earnings to their families and communities than men. Research indicates that women start their own businesses for three personal reasons: having autonomy and independence in the workplace; for more security; and more satisfaction with work. Owning a business can give a married woman a sense of security in the face of negligence within the family, unwanted divorce, or other accidents.

Therefore, it is clear that women entrepreneurs have become a key driver of the country’s economic growth and social development. Women are now realizing the importance of entrepreneurship, which is clearly reflected in the increasing number of women entrepreneurs, which is about 10% of the total entrepreneurs in Bangladesh.

Women entrepreneurs in rural areas are empowering themselves through self-employment in agriculture and non-agricultural businesses, while others in urban areas are exploring sectors such as handicrafts, fashion houses, food, parlors, and ICT.

  • Israt Moriom Khan, the Senior Lecturer of Department of Business Administration, Daffodil Institute of IT (DIIT)