Female entrepreneurship and social capital: Exploring the relationship between social connection and women-owned social media-based businesses in Bangladesh


Businesswomen in Bangladesh are using social media to do business from their homes, in support of their financial development. Social capital theory is applied to investigate the role that family and other close and external networks play in conducting business through social media. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 31 businesswomen to understand why they chose social media for their business, and to identify the type of support they got from their social connections and the hurdles they encountered. Content analysis examined their Facebook and Instagram pages for two weeks to understand the support that their external networks provided. This study finds that family and other close networks encouraged women entrepreneurs with loans, free labour, and product promotions that contributed in building and sustaining the businesses, while external networks helped with more formal or institutional support. Meanwhile, customers provided intangible support that encouraged the businesswomen to start, survive, and succeed.