Rural Bangladesh needs entrepreneurs, not more debt

Poverty is a global problem, it has always been. Researchers and policymakers have been trying to figure out ways to eradicate poverty for decades. Researchers did research, policymakers made policies, development agencies carried out development work, but most of the poor remained poor. Why has the status of the poor not improved over the past two decades? Are they responsible for their plight? Or did the policies fail at larger extent?

Main causes of poverty perhaps are lack of access to finance and faulty resource distribution method. With limited access to finance and a small representation or voice in the political and public debates, the poor find it even harder to cope with poverty, let alone escape from it. The poor people are naturally excluded from credit services in the formal financial sector in many countries, since availing credit requires collaterals. The poor primarily have to depend on family connections and the informal sector for capital and credit facilities. Thus, at times the financial system plays an important role in intensifying income inequality. It is natural that if the financial sector of a country increases income of the rich only, it would also increase income inequality and poverty as well.

Money generates money. It is easier to get more money if someone has a fair share already. However, for a poor person, it is difficult to start with getting that fair share. The micro-credit is not helping. Only a small percentage could come out of poverty due to micro-credit. Inflow of foreign remittance had nevertheless a good impact on reducing poverty. Not only it lifted the income of rural areas, it gave some families the much needed working capital to start business. Free flow of information and mass expansion of mobile network also enhanced business opportunity.

What Bangladesh needs is more flow of remittance and moral boost to the rural entrepreneurs. A good entrepreneur always finds a way to have an access to credit; so loans are not the prime concern. Development agencies and the government should run programs on entrepreneurship in large extend. The country does not need more researches and debt; it needs people with courage, business skills, access to information and a level playing field. – ‘We shall overcome someday’.


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