The effect of institutional environment on entrepreneurship in emerging economies: female entrepreneurs in Bangladesh

Nawreen Sobhan*, Abeer Hassan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Purpose – Female entrepreneurs have made increasing contributions to entrepreneurial activity and economic development worldwide, especially in emerging economies. It is well acknowledged that Bangladesh is one such South Asian emerging economy with many institutional and socio-cultural challenges. This study aims to examine the effect of the institutional environment (formal and informal institutional factors) that influences female entrepreneurs in an emerging country, namely, Bangladesh.

Design/methodology –The authors employed a quantitative research method using a questionnaire. We established the conceptual framework reflecting a model so that we could test our assumptions among female entrepreneurs from an institutional perspective. The conceptual framework was empirically tested and validated. Consequently, this study comprised 324 usable survey responses. To analyse the quantitative data, Partial Least Squares-Structural Equation Modelling (PLS-SEM) was utilised.

Findings –The findings highlight that Social networks (SN), Access to finance (AF), and Non-economic support (NES) have negative and insignificant effects on Informal female entrepreneurs (IFE). Conversely, Entrepreneurial attitudes (EA), Cultural context (CC), Institutional policy (IP), Family roles (FR), and Education (ED) were positive and significant and found to be more important for female entrepreneurship in Bangladesh.

Originality/value – The results of this study offer empirical evidence of institutional factors as well as focus on three dimensions, women's experiences from an institutional perspective, Asian culture, and the operation of female entrepreneurial activity in an emerging economy (contextual perspective).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12-32
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Journal of Entrepreneurship in Emerging Economies
Issue number1
Early online date18 Jul 2023
Publication statusPublished - 17 Jan 2024


  • Bangladesh
  • female entrepreneurs
  • emerging economies
  • formal
  • informal
  • informal institutional factors
  • institution


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