Reflections as an ECR on ISBE2019 – Sharmin Nahar

Being a woman belonging to a developing nation, I have always felt strongly about the issues concerning women and their empowerment. That’s why I conducted research on women entrepreneurs and submitted my abstract on “Factors influencing Business Performance of Women Entrepreneurs in SMEs in Bangladesh” in a reputed conference like ISBE. ISBE conference brings together people working on entrepreneurship from academia, policy, and practice both in the UK and internationally. Very few conferences have such a wide scope and stimulating environment. I was lucky that my abstract got accepted as a full paper for presentation in the “Gender and Enterprise” track. and I received some really good feedback from the reviewers which helped me complete my paper. I also applied for the complimentary place for the early career researcher in the Gender track. I got lucky the second time around when I secured a complimentary place for the early career researcher in the Gender track. Since I am a scholarship student and my university only provides limited funding for conferences for the PHD students, securing a complementary place was the only way for me to attend this conference and present my research work to a high-level audience.

My attendance in the ISBE 2019 brought me manifold benefits. Firstly, it assisted me better comprehend the real-world perspectives of my theoretical work. Secondly, women entrepreneurship in Bangladesh has drawn a growing interest as a case for the development and women empowerment in a Muslim majority country. This research received wider interest. My participation in presenting the paper helped me contribute to this ongoing debate on women entrepreneurship. Thirdly, attendance helped me improve my career prospects by developing my professional network. Fourthly, this will facilitate the successful and timely completion of my PHD thesis by providing critical feedback on the submitted paper. Fifthly, it helped me gain pastoral supports. Sixthly, by attending several sessions here, I was able to gain doctoral-level portfolio skills.

Attendance in this prestigious conference not only equipped me with new skills and tools useful for my future research endeavor but will provide me with the environment which is ideal for cross-learning. It is hard to get a better intellectual climate than this platform and I strongly believe that I significantly gained from this experience and so also contributed to the program.

I learned a lot during the whole event. I was able to network with the brightest minds in the small business arena and could learn about their research area and also talked about the potential for future collaborations. I would like to specifically mention the presentations of the Gender track. All the presentations were very insightful where some unique findings were presented. women entrepreneurs from UAE, Bangladesh, and India were the topics for presentation. I was fortunate enough to meet some experienced researcher in the area of Gender and Entrepreneurship. I was fortunate enough to share my research area and research interest with them. I received some really good feedback on my research work during my presentation. This feedback will surely enrich my research work for sure.

I also contributed to the twitter account of ISBE by posting relevant photos of Gender session. I thoroughly enjoyed this work.

Overall, attending this ISBE conference as an early career researcher has definitely added value to my career and life as well. I certainly gathered new knowledge and made essential networking which eventually helped me further my career in the fields of entrepreneurship and Gender. I would sincerely thank the ISBE family for providing me the complimentary place.

I personally believe that we, Bangladeshis have many lessons to be learnt from economically strong nations in the business sector especially in entrepreneurship development. Learning from this conference in this regard has many lessons to offer and most of them could be adopted for the Bangladeshi situation where an open economy for business operates with certain government controls. One of the main objectives of attending this conference was to enhance the understanding of the business System and this I hope would help me to achieve the aim of learning lessons from the diverse contexts presented in the conference to improve the Bangladeshi System in whatever possible way for a person of my caliber. In recent days the Bangladeshi economy is expanding and I am of the opinion that there is a severe shortage of experts in entrepreneurship to supply the increasing demands of the economy. In such a situation, the importance and relevance of anyone who is enriched with diverse knowledge in entrepreneurship would surely have an advantage in the national level quest to find answers for problems cropping up in new economic situations. I am highly motivated and consider this as a rare opportunity for me and I hope to make use of this to the fullest. The opportunity to attend the conference seems to be the ideal and perfect opportunity that suits my aspirations in improving my knowledge, expertise, and skills which could be converted into the realization of my personal goals as well as the objective of making a better contribution to my country’s development aims.



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