Despite significant economic progress and poverty reduction, about 35 percent of Bangladesh’s population remains food insecure, with around 10 percent of married women reported as moderately or severely food insecure in 2013.
With half of its 165 million population consisting of women, it is imperative for the growth of Bangladesh to increase the participation of women in the economy. There has been a surge in the number of women entrepreneurs, even though there are a variety of gender specific challenges they have to face.
Micro and Small Enterprises (MSEs) play a pivotal role in Bangladesh’s economy by generating almost 25% of GDP and half of the total employment in the country. According to Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) Economic Census 2013, there are 7.81 million business entities in Bangladesh among which 88% are recognized as micro and cottage enterprises, constituting nearly 75% of non-agricultural employment.