Factors Considered Important for Establishing Small and Medium Enterprises by Women Entrepreneurs—A Study on Khulna City
Half of the population is women who need to be incorporated in nation’s workforce for the sustainable economic development. In the context of Bangladesh, the development of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) can be considered as a vital instrument for poverty alleviation and can ensure the rapid industrialization. This study attempts to explore the forces that encouraged women entrepreneurs to start their SMEs. The study was made on the entrepreneurs of Khulna, a metropolitan city of the country. The data was collected through a survey on five major dimension those are assumed to have influence on entrepreneurial decision namely socio-demographic, motivational, financial, regulatory and business environmental dimensions. Respondents’ opinions from the survey were analyzed through simple descriptive statistics such as percentage and mean to draw findings. From the study it was found that women entrepreneurs in Khulna were mostly encouraged to start SMEs for motivational or pull factors such as gaining self-independence, providing financial support to family, improving quality of life and passing leisure time etc. Among the others factors found to be influential were inspiration from friends and relatives, availability of markets, profits potential etc. The study also revealed that as like other developing countries, women entrepreneurs of Khulna suffer from lack of financial support, complexity of regulatory systems, gender based discrimination, lack of adequate training facility and environmental support. Government and private initiative is important in this regard to overcome the hurdles and encouraging more and more participation of women in SME sector.
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