The influence of gender upon women business-owners’ access to debt finance in Bangladesh, a patriarchal developing nation

Jaim, Jasmine (2016) The influence of gender upon women business-owners’ access to debt finance in Bangladesh, a patriarchal developing nation. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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There is growing attention to analyse the influence of gender upon women’s entrepreneurship. Nonetheless, the body of literature almost entirely concentrates on developed nations, specifically on the USA and Europe. The research context for the thesis is Bangladesh, a South Asian developing nation, where there was a government initiative to support small businesses of women through bank loans.

Recognising that entrepreneurship is a social phenomenon, it is important to explore how gender subordination is articulated in the experiences of women business-owners in developing countries. Placing women at the centre of the study, this feminist standpoint research undertook interviews with 21 Bangladeshi women business-owners. Considering finance as a major area of entrepreneurship, this thesis analyses the influence of gender upon women business-owners’ access to debt finance in the context of a patriarchal developing nation. To address this aim, the study investigates the family as well as the broader societal context.

The thesis contributes to advance the understanding of gender subordination of women business-owners within the context of debt financing from developed nations to developing nations. The extant literature on debt finance of developed nations focuses almost solely on discrimination-related issues. It is individual woman business-owner centric, ignoring the family or the broader societal context. Nevertheless, the empirical evidence of this study suggests that male family members were inevitably involved in the process. Further, in developed nations, the exploration of patriarchal practices is primarily limited to the adverse effect of societal expectation of work (i.e., domestic responsibilities and childcare) on the businesses of women. This study extends the view by demonstrating that the dominating, oppressing and exploiting roles of male family members were evident at the individual level with a direct influence on the business activities. The husbands of many women were even found to share the bank loans entirely or partially. This has implications for the effectiveness of the government policy, aiming at the emancipation of the women. Moreover, the study significantly adds to the prevailing knowledge by identifying certain context specific family related issues (for instance, child marriage) or the structural, cultural issues of the broader society (such as, corruption) in relation to gender subordination of women business-owners.

While explaining gender subordination of women business-owners, the contribution of the thesis is not limited to its understanding in a developing nation. Given the highly patriarchal nature of the context, the study provides opportunity to extend the comprehension of some of the issues of gender subordination (for instance, the respectable position of women) that are existing in developed nations in a more subtle form. Thus, it provides a platform for future research in the field of entrepreneurship, gender and finance in developing nations as well as in developed nations.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Martin, Lee
Treanor, Lorna
Keywords: Entrepreneurship, Small Businesses, Gender, Women Business-owners, Finance, Bank Loans, Context, Developing Nations, Qualitative, Reflexivity
Subjects: H Social sciences > HC Economic history and conditions
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Social Sciences, Law and Education > Nottingham University Business School
Item ID: 35932
Depositing User: Jaim, Jasmine
Date Deposited: 11 Nov 2016 08:36
Last Modified: 15 Oct 2021 04:30

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