As an entrepreneur based out of Bangladesh, I faced (and still face) a number of challenges. See if you can relate to any of them!
- Social Stigma
This is perhaps the most difficult of the challenges one has to wade through in Bangladesh as far as entrepreneurial pursuit is concerned. Starting from family, friends to acquaintances, most people are negatively and heavily prejudiced towards entrepreneurs. One of the reasons is that the society stereotypically brands entrepreneurs as ethically challenged and usually looks down upon them compared to professionals. Alongside that, there is also a risk factor when you are doing business compared to when you are a professional. As a result, family and friends discourage the idea of entrepreneurship.
Usually capital comes from either taking loans from financial institutions or using one’s own savings. Compared to other developed nations, Bangladesh has a significantly higher interest rate. The average interest rate on loans was between 10–12% in January 2018. This reflects how taking loans is very expensive in Bangladesh. The financial organizations also make it very difficult for new businesses to take loans. This is a big obstacle many business owners face when trying to acquire capital. On the other hand FDR rate in Bangladesh is very high compared to other countries. Different institutions provide different rates but it still goes as high as 9.75%. Due to this the opportunity cost of using savings as the capital for a business becomes extremely high, as any given new business can yield a mere 10–15% profit on a good day. Hence, most investors shy away from investing in new businesses and keep their savings as FDR instead.