In this fast-paced entrepreneur world, smashing barriers takes guts, determination, and a killer vision.
Do you know who Sadaf Roksana is?
Yes, she is the pioneer who holds the title of the first female fintech entrepreneur in Bangladesh.
While she has some amazingly remarkable achievements, we must acknowledge the challenges women entrepreneurs face in Bangladesh.
7 Most Common Bangladeshi Female Entrepreneur Challenges
We can already see how women play a great role in shaping the entrepreneur sector. But there are significant challenges they face, too. So, let’s discuss the 7 most common challenges female entrepreneurs face in Bangladesh.
Gender Bias in the Business Ecosystem
Like many other countries, Bangladesh struggles with deep-rooted gender biases. When a woman enters entrepreneurship, she often faces skepticism and doubt, challenges less common than her male peers.
Sadaf’s journey as a fintech pioneer proves her ability to overcome these biases. However, the gender gap in support remains a significant obstacle for aspiring female entrepreneurs.
Access to Financial Resources
Despite being the first female fintech entrepreneur in Bangladesh, it was also difficult for Sadaf when seeking financial backing for her venture. Women entrepreneurs often find it challenging to access loans and capital, which limits their ability to scale their businesses.
Banks might hesitate to invest in women-led businesses. It keeps them stuck in a cycle of insufficient resources to grow.
Cultural Norms and Societal Expectations
Societal norms and expectations can be a great burden on women pursuing entrepreneurship. Most of the time, the traditional roles assigned to women clash with the unconventional demands of running a business.
Balancing family duties with running a fintech business needs strength and a solid support system, which is not always easy to find.
Networking plays an important role in the success of any entrepreneur. Building a network can be more challenging for female entrepreneurs in Bangladesh. Networking events and industry gatherings may be male-dominated.
That’s why sometimes it can be harder for women to establish connections and partnerships. Sadaf Roksana’s success in the fintech sector is a great hope that encourages other women to break through these barriers.
Lack of Mentorship Opportunities
Mentorship is a valuable resource for entrepreneurs going through the complexities of the business market. Unfortunately, Bangladesh’s female entrepreneurs often lack mentors who understand their unique challenges.
The absence of role models can be discouraging for many aspiring women entrepreneurs, making establishing mentorship programs that bridge this gap essential.
Tech Education Disparities
Staying ahead of technological advancements is crucial in this rapidly evolving fintech situation. Still, tech education gaps between girls and boys persist in Bangladesh. It’s time to inspire girls early in STEM for more skilled female entrepreneurs like Sadaf Roksana.
Work-Life Integration Struggles
For women, the challenge of integrating work and personal life is often more pronounced. This struggle is amplified for female entrepreneurs who are not only managing businesses but also challenging societal norms.
Are there any Positive Initiatives Supporting Female Entrepreneurs in Bangladesh?
In Bangladesh, several positive initiatives are actively supporting and empowering female entrepreneurs. They are:
Women’s Entrepreneurship Development Project (WEDP)
The Women’s Entrepreneurship Development Project (WEDP), funded by the World Bank, plays a significant role in enhancing the skills and capacities of women entrepreneurs. WEDP provides training, access to finance, and mentorship programs, aiming to equip women with the necessary tools to establish and expand their businesses.
This initiative helps bridge the gender gap in entrepreneurship by addressing key challenges female business owners face in Bangladesh.
SheTrades Bangladesh, an initiative by the International Trade Centre, focuses on connecting women entrepreneurs to international markets. SheTrades enables female business owners in Bangladesh to explore global expansion possibilities through training, market linkages, and networking opportunities.
SheTrades contributes to women’s economic empowerment, fostering a more inclusive and diverse business landscape in the country.
Bangladesh Women’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BWCCI)
The Bangladesh Women’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BWCCI) also plays a key role by providing a platform for networking, business development, and advocacy for women entrepreneurs in the country. Together, these initiatives are making significant strides in supporting and uplifting female entrepreneurs in Bangladesh.
Sadaf Roksana’s journey as Bangladesh’s first female fintech entrepreneur inspires women to break into unconventional sectors. Her success discusses the need for a more supportive entrepreneurial ecosystem in Bangladesh.
So, it requires a collaborative effort from society, policymakers, and industry leaders. Bangladesh can make room for more women in entrepreneurship by working on all these issues we have discussed.
As we appreciate all of Sadaf Roksana’s achievements, let us commit to creating an environment where every female entrepreneur can contribute to the nation’s economic growth!