Rural entrepreneurship as a tool for sustainable development while ensuring poverty alleviation: an analysis of opportunities and challenges of female entrepreneurs in the informal sector from an Asian context

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Most of the research on female entrepreneurship focuses on urban settings, and the topic is mostly examined from the point of view of opportunity exploitation. This type of entrepreneurial behaviour typically takes place in rural regions that have limited access to resources, which necessitates an examination from the perspective of resources given that rural entrepreneurship possesses its own unique characteristics. When it comes to rural entrepreneurship, the sustainable livelihood perspective is a useful framework to explore since it considers the resources and capacities necessary to combat poverty in rural areas. In this article, we investigate the opportunities and challenges of rural female entrepreneurship as a strategy for assuring sustainable development and the alleviation of poverty.

A conceptual framework was created based on the literature review and A qualitative approach was taken by Interviewing 15 Bangladeshi female entrepreneurs in the rural areas of Dhaka, Rangpur and Khulna city of Bangladesh. This sample size depends on the research aim and design. In this case, the objective was to collect rich and thick data that could support the development of themes and sub-themes in the research area. Indeed, the number of respondents in qualitative research can vary and may range from as few as 1 to as many as 20 or 30 (Creswell, 2009) or even 60. The researcher implemented a thematic analysis, adapted from the main stages developed by Braun and Clarke, (2014).

According to the finding, women, poverty alleviation, social entrepreneurship, and institutions are the key ideas involved in rural entrepreneurship and sustainable living and female entrepreneurs in informal sector of Bangladesh plays an important role in sustainable development while ensuring poverty alleviation. We discover that (a) female entrepreneurs in the Bangladeshi informal sector face a variety of obstacles that are primarily gender-related and (b) their entrepreneurial success is engendered by several informal and formal institutional factors that are connected to aspects of their lives as women in Rural areas of Bangladesh.

Practical implications
 In order to broaden the definition of rural entrepreneurship from the perspective of sustainable livelihoods, the study provides research opportunities in emerging themes connected to social entrepreneurship, female entrepreneurship, Policy framework, governance and institutions, livelihood growth, and eco-entrepreneurship. for extending the boundaries of rural entrepreneurship from the sustainable livelihood framework.

Policy Implications
The research contributes to practice by providing evidence that can be used to guide the development of appropriate institutional initiatives in Bangladesh that are intended to encourage female entrepreneurial activity for sustainable development through poverty alleviation.

Originality/value of paper
The study provides directions regarding areas of possible future research on rural entrepreneurship, social entrepreneurship from gender and institutional perspective, which might be of interest to scholars in entrepreneurship area. This study will serve as a valuable document for policy-making decisions by stakeholders, such as the Bangladesh Small and cottage industries corporation (BSCIC), the Bangladesh Women’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BWCIC), and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO) and the SME Foundation of Bangladesh.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe 20th Rural Entrepreneurship Conference
Subtitle of host publicationChallenges and Opportunities for Rural Entrepreneurship in Times of Crisis
PublisherGlasgow Caledonian University
Publication statusPublished - 17 May 2023
Event20th Rural Entrepreneurship Conference - Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow, United Kingdom
Duration: 17 May 202319 May 2023


Conference20th Rural Entrepreneurship Conference
Abbreviated titleREC2023
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


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