Determinants of female entrepreneurship in Bangladesh: an institutional approach

Nawreen Sobhan*, Abeer Hassan, Dina Nziku

*Corresponding author for this work

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A considerable agreement exists about the importance of promoting female entrepreneurship as they represent an unrecognised engine for economic growth especially in transition economy. As entrepreneurship is increasingly understood as a process of social phenomenon rooted in social interactions, female entrepreneurs can be influenced by different cultural, and institutional factors at different national level. The purpose of this study is to investigate the effect of formal (institutions) and informal (culture) institutional factors on female entrepreneurship in the informal sector of Bangladeshi context. The design is a systematic literature review of research published in the related field from 1980 to 2020 focusing on the formal and informal institutional factors that affect female entrepreneurship by using North’s classification of formal and informal institutions. In this study, an explanatory sequential mixed method has been used, and this research used a survey of 312 questionnaire survey and then explaining the quantitative results with in depth 15 face to face interviews. The questionnaires and the interviews has been analysed using descriptive, inferential statistics and thematic analysis. The findings of the quantitative and qualitative research has been synthesised into a conceptual framework adding to the understanding of macro nation effects of formal and informal institutional on female entrepreneurship. The main findings highlight that both formal and informal institutional factors has an effect on female entrepreneurial activity in informal sector. However, it also indicate that informal factors (the cultural context, social network, family role) are more relevant for female entrepreneurship than formal factors (education, Entrepreneurial policy and assistance and access to finance), which means formal institution has less significance influence on female entrepreneurship in Bangladesh. The research contributes both theoretically (advancing knowledge with respect to formal and informal institutional factors that affect female entrepreneurship), and practically (for the design of appropriate institutional initiatives to foster female entrepreneurial activity) in Bangladesh.


ConferencePhD Colloquium APRIL 2021 Research Group Global Socially Progressive Entrepreneurship and Innovation
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Period29/04/21 → …


  • female entrepreneurship
  • women entrepreneurship
  • institutional factors
  • culture
  • informal sector
  • Bangladesh


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