ISSN : 1997-1052 (Print)
2227-202X (Online)
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Economic Effect and Coping Mechanisms of COVID-19 on Women Entrepreneurs in Sylhet City of Bangladesh
Tauhida Akther Chowdhury, Neaz Ahmed

This paper focuses on the economic impact of COVID-19 on women entrepreneurs and their coping mechanisms to overcome the situation. Women entrepreneurship plays a vital role in the global economy in general and personal development of women in particular. It also has a great social impact, as it raiseswomen’s social status and empowers them in quiet a lot of ways.It can be noted that women entrepreneurs have greater contributions to global economic development. However, their input to the domestic and local economy has been severely harmed and disrupted as a result of the coronavirus outbreak in 2020. WhileSmall and Medium Enterprises’ (SME) are considered to be the bloodline of Bangladesh’s economy, employing 7.8 million people directly and providing livelihood to a total of 31.2 million, the hit of COVID-19 pandemic has made women entrepreneurs vulnerable. In this regard, an attempt has been made to investigate the impact of COVID-19 on women entrepreneurs in Sylhet city, as well as to enquire how they have been managing the negative outcome.Both qualitative and quantitative approaches were adopted for this study. An interview schedule and checklist were used to collect data for the purposive sampling procedure. The study reveals that most of the women entrepreneurs of Sylhet city face severe challenges and economic crisis due to pandemic situations. Lockdown that lasted for a long time resulted in employment losses and as a result economic vulnerability became a reality. During COVID-19 these female entrepreneurs did not get any financial support or help from the Government and Non-government organizations. Financial institutions like bank, small loan windows did not extended their hands as well to provide loan for their survivals. Some entrepreneurshad to change their business and others simply are spend times without doing any work. They plan to continue their business in an alternative way, if the coronavirus crisis continues for a long time. However, they need to get support from government and other entities. Financial motivation (Pronodona) can play a pivotal role in sustaining their business. 

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