Many thoughts and ideas have been put forward regarding what are the reasons people get into their own small businesses - what are key drivers? Similarly, many have deliberated a number of factors that influence business development and success. I list a few below.

- Population (implied minimum basic needs)
- Education
- Product / service needs (including innovation)
- Purchasing power
- Micro vs Small Businesses – micro business usually less structured
- Diaspora size (they can form the nucleus for a suitable market size)
- Desperation – no choice
- Culture / attitude

In examining the challenge to move from opportunity to reality, Nawaz examines this from the perspectives of a study involving rural women in Bangladesh. In the study, titled: Critical Factors of Women Entrepreneurship Development in Rural Bangladesh, May 2009, Nawaz. examined the quest to improve women entrepreneurship through training and development

This paper analyzes factors that are critical to women’s entrepreneurship in rural Bangladesh.

The study presents an analytical framework based on institutional theory which focuses on regulative, cognitive and normative factors. The paper identifies the following critical factors to women’s entrepreneurship in rural Bangladesh:

  • Regulative factors such as government and institutional policies and rules, and policies of banks and other financial institutions;
  • Normative (behavior/values) factors such as social stigma, availability of capital and market contacts;
  • Cognitive (perception and knowledge) factors such as risk assessment capacity, education and access to information, entrepreneurial training and business knowledge.

Illiteracy, lack of basic education, training and experience remain serious obstacles in rural women’s entrepreneurship development. Social superstitions and the absence of the rule of law also affect rural women’s participation in economic activities. The paper makes the following recommendations to improve women’s entrepreneurship in Bangladesh:

  • Empathetic actions of government;
  • Attitudinal recommendations;
  • Bank-related policy recommendations;
  • Training and consultancy related policy implications;
  • Other significant recommendations

The attitudinal recommendations reflect the thrust of The Small Business Survival Guide. Many persons assess the chances for entrepreneurial success on the basis of governmental support, policy directives, bank and other credit realities and the level of business training, etc. However, the attitudinal issues are no less important in determining success. This fact accounts for the qualitative factors that make some people fail in the same environment and conditions, while some succeed. It relates to the “cognitive” factors mentioned above.

The Small Business Survival Guide – Insights into the First Two Years, focus on this nebulous area of ‘attitude’ providing insights into what significant issues that will arise and can negate the benefits of the favorable conditions, leading to failure. This is the reason it makes a good reference book because it is its companionship during the early evolution of the business that will help to provide answers to questions not yet asked. This wealth of awareness is the guide to averting failure and it is easily available.

Check it out! Send me your comments too, I would be happy to hear from you.

Author's Bio: 

Alrick Robinson is the author of The Small Business Survival Guide: Insights into the First Two Years. I invite you to download a free chapter and introduction to by book at You may also visit my blog at where I share small business resources and survival tips weekly.