All publications of BD-47391 . Dhaka , Bangladesh
Reality of Women Entrepreneurship in Bangladesh: issues, Influences and Strategies
Md. Tareque Quddus
Assistant Professor of Marketing
Asian University of Bangladesh
Bangladesh is a developing country and nearly half of its population is women. Without active participation of women in the mainstream of the economy developments cannot be achieved. A country may have resources but the problem of development is to put those resources into the process of production. Despite possessing natural and physical resources, machinery and capital may go underutilized or misused if rural human resources are not properly utilized. Thus it is apparent that entrepreneurship development is a prerequisite of all sorts of a nation’s development (Hossain&Rahman, 1999).
However, women’s participation in business was conspicuously insignificant for a very long period because there was little opportunity for women to participate in genuine decision making at any level or in any area of life. However, there has been a rise in the number of women starting business in the developed and developing countries in recent years since a new generation of highly educated and motivated women is emerging, and they are creating businesses through their own choice.
Despite proving their potentials as entrepreneurs and contributing to the national growth their development is being hindered by various kinds of socio-cultural and economic barriers. Hossain and Rahman, (1999), Chowdhury (2000) Afrin et al (2008) and Tambunan (2009) confers that, in Bangladesh women are victimized more because of their illiteracy, deprivation, lack of knowledge, unorganized, powerless or less political representation, rigid social customs, and injustice by their counter partners particularly in rural areas.
Economic power and social status of women in any society depends not on the possession of certain rights and privileges constitutionally; but on the ability and capacity of the women to assert for those rights and to exercise those rights as a matter of fact, But, the extent to which women in a particular society become able to exercise their legal rights is contingent upon their economic power in the society (Begum, 2005). Realization has gradually dawned on all concerned that a society cannot afford to waste half of its human resources by discrimination on the ground of gender. Women become aware of their capabilities and their socio-economic rights. They are breaking the barriers and emerging as entrepreneurial forces. Existing studies have focused on different challenges women face but most of them are done on national basis. Underprivileged women in the northern part of Bangladesh and their entrepreneurial efforts are not studied with proper concern.
Evaluation of Comprehensive Village Development Program (CVDP) in Bangladesh
Md. Tareque Quddus
Assistant Professor of Marketing
Asian University of Bangladesh
Bangladesh Academy for Rural Development (BARD) developed the two-tier co-operatives system in early sixties, which added a new dimension in the sphere of co operatives movement in this country Within this co-operative framework Krishak Samabaya Samity (KSS) at the village level and Upazila Central Co-operative Association (UCCA) Ltd. at the Upazila level farmers for promoting economic activities, implementing development plans, introducing mechanized cultivating were formed including capital formation and credit operation. This KSS also contributed to promoting group cohesion, mutual understanding, mutual help and self-help. On the question of the viability of village co-operatives for economic activities, there is the need for a higher level supporting organization. For this, the village level KSSs formed higher level Co-operative organization to move towards economic improvement.
This two-tier co-operative model was replicated throughout the country as a national program by the then IRDP (now BRDB) immediately after the emergence of Bangladesh in 1971. But the performance of the two-tier co-operatives was found giving mixed results. Representation of small farmers in the KSS was found more but they were entirely under represented in the Managing Committee. It faced criticism that the KSSs were dominated by the large farmers (Planning Commission, 1974). They enjoyed a great share of benefits but their contribution to share capital and savings was relatively poor. Only around 409 percent of the farm households were covered by this type of co-operatives. The landless and many other households remained outside the KSSs and did not get any direct benefit. Although a poor number of landless people including women, youth and people of other professions were organized wider the separate co-operatives/informal groups initially by BARD and later on by BRDB, consequently the women and youth cooperatives were found to be dominated by women and youth from well-to-do families.
There was also criticism that the BRDB cooperatives failed to achieve progress in nonfarm sectors in rural areas. Considering this, BRDB with the support of donor agencies started organizing cooperatives and informal groups since 1980s for landless people and women incorporating new activities like non farm income generating activities, health, education, population control program, etc. Instead of giving more attention to the original programs (KSS-UCCA), the BRDB started to perform major role in the implementation of poverty alleviation programs (Solaiman, 1998).
Since 1970s, various government and non-government organizations had been designing different programs of rural development for the villagers as the target group. It was found that multiple organizations and agencies were addressing the same population with more or less the same type of program and this resulted in overlapping and duplication of efforts, wastage of resources, creating confusion, making dai program unnecessarily costly and generating conflicts and tension (Badanidijin et al, 1984; Ahmed, 1993; and Obaidullah, 1993).
Considering the situation and the criticism against Two-tier Co-operatives that it failed to cover all classes of rural people under the existing institution (KSS) and the program’s interventions as well as contributions were less in other sectors than in agriculture. The Academy thought that a more balanced and comprehensive approach was necessary. Accordingly, BARD started an experimental project entitled Total Village Development Program (TVDP) in 1974 in five villages of Comilla Sadar Upazila. It was proposed in the scheme that every adult resident of the village would be included in the existing institution with the representation of all classes of people (Solaiman 1980) The TVDP was renamed as CVDP in 1983.
The concept of CVDP was that one village would have a single institution to develop a package program for an integrated and total development of the village and to channel all sorts of services and supplies to the villagers through this institution, It is an institutional approach to solve any problem related to village modernization based on existing local resources according to the principles of cooperation, cooperative education, democratic decision-making process as well as establishing member’s rights and privileges (Ban, et al. 1994). Further elaborated that CVDP as a multipurpose single village institution will act as a forum or platform of all development agencies irrespective of GOs and NGOs. This may gradually help to reduce duplication, proliferation, wastage and inefficiency in the rural development sector and in turn contribute to the development of a sustainable process to build self- managed village institution. He also mentioned that unlike many target group oriented programs, the CVDP emphasizes more on hard option to resolve related to rural development issues. Obaidullah (1993) further mentioned that the comprehensive approach was a total development of all aspects of rural life of all classes of rural people aiming at preserving the social values, norms, customs of parental authority and tradition of rural Bangladesh and bringing about positive changes in social, economic and political life of the rural people. It did not look for social conflict but for consolidation.
Meanwhile, the project was evaluated by the evaluation committee constituted by the government and it was considered as a successful model of rural development, and it was recommended for further expansion. In the above context, the Comprehensive Village Development Program (CVDP) is being implemented by the Bangladesh Academy for Rural Development (BARD), Comilla and Rural Development Academy (RDA), Bogra as a demonstrative program in 80 villages from July 1999 which had been ended by June 2004.