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Help and hindrance: family roles concerning small businesses of women in Bangladesh during COVID-19 pandemic

Jasmine Jaim (Institute of Business Administration, Jahangirnagar University, Dhaka, Bangladesh)

South Asian Journal of Business Studies

ISSN: 2398-628X

Article publication date: 7 September 2022




Although the extant literature has already recognised the negative impact of homebound responsibilities on women's entrepreneurship during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is yet to know whether and how the family has any other role in women's businesses during this critical period. This research aims to explore the patronising and patriarchal roles of the family regarding women's small businesses in a developing nation during the pandemic.


This feminist study is based on the interviews of women business-owners of a highly patriarchal developing nation, Bangladesh. During the period of the interview, Bangladesh was one of the top ten regions of the world in terms of the identified coronavirus cases.


The research unveils work-family enrichment by illustrating the help of family members in meeting the challenges of the pandemic period regarding women's certain business activities, such as the innovative production process. Besides, the study reveals the assisting and, in some cases, the non-cooperative approaches of family members concerning additional homebound responsibilities that affect work-family conflict during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Whereas the existing literature on women's entrepreneurship regarding the family revolves around work-family conflict due to maternal or caregiving responsibilities during the COVID-19 period, this feminist study substantially contributes to the understanding by revealing how family members help women by getting involved in business activities. It further enriches the prevailing knowledge regarding assisting or hindering activities of family members concerning domestic activities that affect women's businesses during the pandemic.



The author offers her thanks to the respondents of the study who remain anonymous, but the research would not be feasible during this challenging period of COVID-19 without their support.


Jaim, J. (2022), "Help and hindrance: family roles concerning small businesses of women in Bangladesh during COVID-19 pandemic", South Asian Journal of Business Studies, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print.



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