• Sazzadul Bari Action and Light, Joypurhat 5900, Bangladesh
  • Rifat Hasan Ador Department of Anthropology, University of Rajshahi, Rajshahi 6205, Bangladesh
  • Shekh Sadia Akter Department of Anthropology, University of Rajshahi, Rajshahi 6205, Bangladesh
  • Muhammad Mahmudur Rahman Department of Political Science, University of Rajshahi, Rajshahi 6205, Bangladesh



Entrepreneurs, Marketplace, Vulnerability, Financial Support, Gender Roles


Bangladesh, a developing country, still discriminates the gender roles regarding marketplace access. Women entrepreneurs in this country are more vulnerable to starting a new business and participating equally in the marketplace. Although existing literature suggests that there are governmental and financial initiatives to support women entrepreneurship, the barriers to accessing such support have remained unimportant. Also, their vulnerability in participating in marketplace activities needed more details. This study aims to investigate the barriers women entrepreneurs face in accessing governmental and non-governmental support in Bangladesh and address their vulnerability in the marketplace. This qualitative study has been conducted in Rajshahi City with a purposive sample of 40 women entrepreneurs aged between 25 and 55. The interviews followed a semi-structured questionnaire. Data collected from July to August 2022 through in-depth interviews have been analyzed using narrative analysis while considering participants’ narratives as units of analysis. Results show that women entrepreneurs struggle to establish shops in a market and are often frightened to take loans even when they are in need of it. Those who take loans face difficulties following complex and time-consuming procedures and providing guarantor, mortgage, and documents. The findings highlight challenges faced by women entrepreneurs in Bangladesh who need governmental and non-governmental support to ensure equal participation of women in the marketplaces. This study recommends reducing bureaucratic difficulties in accessing governmental financial facilities, minimizing the time and paperwork required to access loans, and more efficiently connecting non-governmental organizations with women entrepreneurs to enhance their entrepreneurial capabilities.


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