Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)– Most women entrepreneurs of Bangladesh are still out of the financial services as only 19 percent of them have access to finance, according to a study.

Besides, 15.5 percent of the women entrepreneurs are involved in export business, 1.5 percent in import and 83 per cent in trading and services, the study said, adding that about 50 percent of the rural and more than 50 per cent of the urban women entrepreneurs do not have trade licence.

These were revealed during a daylong Women Entrepreneurs Conference and Product Exhibition at a city hotel on Thursday. The SME and Special Programme Department of Bangladesh Bank (BB) in collaboration with all bank and non-bank financial institutions, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Care Bangladesh and Standard Chartered Bank organised the event aiming to promote women entrepreneurs and accelerate financing to ensure women empowerment.

The study was conducted by SME Foundation, Bangladesh Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BWCCI) and SEDF of IFC.

According to the study, 85.41 percent of the business enterprises are under proprietorship while 9.4 percent are family concern and 4.54 percent are partnership ownership.

It also identified some of the key reasons for women’s reluctance to enter into business. Data showed 32.1 percent women do not want to be entrepreneurs as their families do not like it, 5.5 percent due to opposition by their children, 11.3 percent do not come in business due to social barriers, 9.6 percent because their husbands do not support it and 29.7 percent do not want to be entrepreneurs as per their own decision.

BB governor Atiur Rahman inaugurated the conference and exhibition as the chief guest while Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) president Kazi Akram Uddin Ahmed, Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Dhaka (MCCI) president Rokia Afzal Rahman, Care Bangladesh country director Jamie Terzi, Association of Bankers, Bangladesh (ABB) chairman and Eastern Bank Ltd (EBL) managing director Ali Reza Iftekhar were present, among others, as the special guests.

BBN/SSR/AD-14Mar14-2:27 pm (BST)