Women entrepreneurship in Bangladesh
Women business leaders and entrepreneurs evoked for full inclusion of women in the country's economy to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 5 at a summit held on Saturday. Bangladesh has achieved remarkable success in women empowerment and gender equality in recent years, ranking first in South Asia. The country marked significant progress in achieving Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Consequently, fifteen out of seventeen targets of SDGs were proposed by Bangladesh. In particular, SDG 5 is one of the vital goals among the 17 goals directly related to gender equality and women empowerment. It is needless to say that the inclusion of women in a country's economy is a globally recognised truth while it can drive the status of a country positively.
Scores of wide-ranging measures have been taken and implemented by the government to ensure the overall empowerment of women. Furthermore, government has introduced gender budget which is a unique effort to strengthen women's financial security in the society. Among the few specialised sectors, women empowerment is one. Among the total number of entrepreneurs in Bangladesh more than 10 percent are women. Unfortunately, in spite of all the mentioned initiatives and work-plan women of the country couldn't show progress in business and entrepreneurship as expected.
Several types of impediments appear when a woman gets involved in business and entrepreneurship: restrictions to access to finance and financial institutions, lack of entrepreneurial training, family responsibilities, lack of access to marketing facility, lack of information, poor opportunity of networking, lack of access to infrastructure and technology, lack of guideline from government and NGOs, lack of support service, fewer rights to use land and property.
Women of the country are contributing to the economy largely, despite several limitations, their contribution is increasing. Wherever they get opportunity to contribute, they do their best. Our RMG sector is the apotheosis in this regard. Bangladesh women deserve more business opportunities. Their collective talent of entrepreneurship must be nurtured.
Especially rural women, have the potentials and merit to do better in small and medium industries. Women entrepreneurship in the rural industries is a new arena in the socio- economic environment of Bangladesh. In view of the need to bring the rural womenfolk in the development stream of the country, the Government, the NGOs and other related agencies have provided ample opportunities to promote entrepreneurial skill among women. Income- generating activities, credit facilities, skill training, market opportunities have all combined to pave the way for the emergence of entrepreneurial development among women in rural Bangladesh.
Government should utilise their strength through constructive schemes. Authorities concerned should take necessary steps to remove the setbacks in the way of women entrepreneurship.