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Promoting Women’s Entrepreneurship Development

in Bangladesh under the Small and Medium Sized
Enterprise Development Project

Nibedita Kundu

Deputy Director
SME & Special Programmes Department
Bangladesh Bank, Bangladesh

MSMEs in Bangladesh

MSMEs and The Economic
Development of Bangladesh
 What Constitutes the MSME Sector in Bangladesh ?

 It covers a wide spectrum of activities ranging from

manufacturing to services to trades.
 It involves different types of organizations with
varying constitutions like proprietary concerns,
partnership firms, private limited companies.
 According to a McKinsey estimates there are 16 million
formal & informal enterprises in Bangladesh
 In Bangladesh it is estimated that 99% of the private
enterprises are in cottage, micro, small and medium
enterprise. While 95% of the MSMEs are in the cottage ,
micro and small segment.
In Bangladesh, SMEs are defined on the basis on the basis of value of fixed
assets (excluding land and building) and/or number of persons employed.

Women Entrepreneurship DevelopmentInitiatives of SMESPD

Promotional Policy


• Cottage and Micro Enterprises are brought under refinancing
facilities of Bangladesh Bank against financing of Banks and
Non-bank Financial Institutions.
• Opening of a separate “Women Entrepreneur’s Dedicated Desk”
in each branch of Banks and NBFIs. The desk is advised to
provide support to prospective women about the preparation
loan able business proposal, marketing strategies etc.
• Arrangement of women entrepreneurs fair & product display,
open credit disbursement to women etc.
Recent Initiatives:
 Establishment of Women Entrepreneurship Development Unit
 All branches of Banks and NBFIs are instructed to find out at least three
women entrepreneurs within their business jurisdiction who have not
taken any loan earlier. Banks and NBFIs have to provide necessary
training and at least one women entrepreneur should be brought under
the banking system each year.

Women Entrepreneurship DevelopmentInitiatives of SMESPD

Financial Support


 15% of all refinance funds are allocated for women
 Interest rate cap for Women Entrepreneurs loan
under BB refinance Window (bank rate + 5%);
currently ‘bank rate ‘ is 5%.
 Group based lending is allowed to Women
Up to Tk. 2.5 million clean exposure limit for
Women Entrepreneurs [without any collateral].
 Fixing the lower limit of Credit to Cottage & Micro
Industries at Tk. 10,000 and Tk. 20,000 respectively.

Factsheet of ADB funded SMEDP
Project Name: Small and Medium Enterprise Development
Project (SMEDP)
• Timeline: October 2009- December 2013 (recovery will be finished
in 2018)
• The objective of that TA grant was to enhance capacity of women
entrepreneurs and associations to fully access to the financial
• The TA was implemented through BWCCI in the project area.
• The implementation team fielded by BWCCI comprised of national
experts, subcontracting training institutes and NGOs..

 15% of the total fund was
earmarked for funding to
women entrepreneurs.

Outputs of TA
• Constraints and opportunities for women
entrepreneurs identified
• Advocacy initiatives implemented to enforce gender
responsive regulations and policy reform

• Technical capacity of selected women entrepreneurs
and associations strengthened
• Dissemination of Findings and identification of
Follow up initiatives

Results of TA: Greater Access to
Financial Resources for Women
• 900 women entrepreneurs were identified in the
selected districts and out of that 293 women
entrepreneurs received loans from different banks at
six districts (Khulna, Barisal, Sylhet, Gazipur,
Rajshahi, Rangamati)

• The project also contributed to the overall increase in
women entrepreneurs taking SME loan- a total of
8372 women entrepreneurs received an amount of
BDT 642.70 crore ( BB, IDA fund, ADB-1 &2, JICA
fund , up to June 2013.

Results of TA: Women Entrepreneurs
Capacity Developed
• BWCCI provided training to 5880 women of 64 districts on
--Women Entrepreneurship Development
--Business Management,
--Business Communication
--Primary concept of ICT use
--Access to finance
• 540 women entrepreneur’s managerial capacity, marketing
knowledge and technical skills were enhanced through
‘Women Entrepreneurship Development and Business
Management” training.
• 422 women entrepreneurs were assisted by BWCCI in
processing applications for bank loans.

Results of TA: PFIs and Bank Officials
Sensitized about Women Entrepreneurs
• Enhanced the capacity of 703 Officials of 39
Participating Financial Institutions (PFIs) to address
the needs of women entrepreneurs.
• The Government of Bangladesh allocated an amount
Taka 100 crore as grant for women entrepreneurs in
the national budget 2012-13 following the advocacy
initiative of BWCCI.

SMEDP Implementation in Picture

Information sharing meeting on Women
Entrepreneurship in Bangladesh.

Orientation Program for Bank

A BWCCI trained women entrepreneur
refinanced under SMEDP

Tripartite meeting among BB,