Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Business Administration

First Advisor

Karau, Steven


This research qualitatively investigates the activities that female Bangladeshi entrepreneurs perform to become successful in their ventures with the support of microfinancing. Microfinancing is a loan transfer of a small amount to a small business borrower who lacks access to commercial banking services and has significantly assisted entrepreneurs. Microfinancing has a positive socio-economic impact on those females who do not have access to traditional banking. In-depth research concerning factors affecting the entrepreneurial intention of females remains relatively scarce. This research examined entrepreneurial work characteristics that assist female entrepreneurs in becoming successful. Based on interviews with 34 female entrepreneurs from the five regions (Dhaka, Tangail, Manikganj, Gazipur, and Cumilla) of Bangladesh between the ages of 27 to 70, this study sought to identify the significant categories of start-up companies related to the development of entrepreneurship among the rural women borrowers through microfinancing (microcredit program). Specifically, this study examined obstacles faced by females of Bangladesh and explored how they overcame those barriers and became successful small business entrepreneurs. A grounded theory approach was used to categorize critical obstructions and facilitating factors, and role congruity theory helped inform the nature of the emerging categories. The top five types of businesses found in this study were room renting, retail store, vegetable business, tailoring business, and livestock farm. The following nine themes emerged from analysis as vital factors influencing the nature and outcome of the small business ventures: 1) the amount of microloan fund, 2) changes in business categories, 3) employees, 4) training and business issues, 5) advantages of microfinancing, 6) disadvantages of microfinancing, 7) sholo shiddhanto (16-decisions), 8) potential unique obstacles, and 9) perceived success.Most importantly, a wide range of advantages was documented. From a role congruity theory perspective, this suggests that microfinancing allows the women to operate their small businesses in a manner that will enable them to maintain high congruity or fit with their family roles and other lifestyle requirements. The findings of this study assisted with a further understanding of this new phenomenon of microfinance entrepreneurial work. This study also illustrates areas needing additional review and research by exploring and deciphering how perceptions and conventions interplay with the specific challenges the women entrepreneurs of Bangladesh face. Theoretical and practical implications for how stories about women entrepreneurs can benefit organizational decision making are also discussed.

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