Prof. Dr. Nazrul Islam
Dean of School of Business, Canadian University of Bangladesh, Dhaka, Bangladesh
Financial inclusion is critical in enhancing the welfare of an economy as well as reducing income inequality by providing access to efficient financial services to both the privileged and the poor. Financial inclusion is a significant issue in Bangladesh as the majority of the population –especially women, farmers and individuals excluded by society– does not have access to basic financial services such as credit, insurance, and payment services. According to the Bangladesh Bank Governor, Bangladesh views small and medium enterprises (SMEs) important in terms of inclusive growth strategy as they account for almost 40% of the overall employment and around 80% of the industrial jobs in the country. Thus, this paper aims at identifying the impacts of financial inclusion on the SME entrepreneurs of Bangladesh. To conduct this research, 206 respondents were chosen from those who either initiated their own SME or worked as an employee in one. A structured questionnaire with 5 points Likert scale was used to collect primary data from the SME entrepreneurs. Both descriptive and inferential statistics were used in analyzing the data. Multivariate analysis techniques like factor analysis, multiple regression analysis were performed to identify the impacts of financial inclusions on the women SMEs in Bangladesh. The study finds impact factors where financial inclusion helped the female SME entrepreneurs in Bangladesh. The impact factors are easiness in payment, comfortable in the transaction, reduced unemployment problem due to creation of agents, easy payment of utility bill and receiving remittance, easy to pay loan and premium, easy to pay loan and premium, no network problem in transaction, and secured area coverage. Factors such as easiness in payment, comfortable in the transaction, reduce unemployment problem due to the creation of agents, no network problem in transaction, secured area coverage were found significant impact factors of financial inclusion in Bangladesh.
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