The government is going to setup business incubation centre in each division to ensure all kinds of support for small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) entrepreneurs.
Business incubation centre's support includes finance, technology and innovation, market access, business cooperation, information opportunities and others.State Minister for Industries Kamal Ahmed Majumder revealed the plan on Saturday at an online workshop on finalising a draft strategy paper on setting up and managing a business incubation centre.
“SME sector has been playing an important role in implementing the government's election manifesto. There is no alternative to further expanding the contribution of cottage, small and medium sectors to strengthen the economy," Kamal Ahmed said.
The minister emphasised on ensuring all kinds of support to new entrepreneurs in the ongoing incubation centres in Dhaka and Chattogram.
Under the SME Policy-2019, the ministry of industries is working to ensure access to finance, technology and innovation, market access, education and training, business cooperation and information for SME entrepreneurs, said the minister
He also urged consumers to use more local products at all possible stages to contribute to the country's economy.
Lack of database in the SME sector is a barrier to providing necessary assistance to the entrepreneurs, said Additional Secretary of Financial Institutions Division Arijit Chowdhury while highlighting the importance of SME database.Speaking at the workshop, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Industries Kazi Sakhawat Hossain said that the SME sector is playing a special role in transforming the youth into skilled manpower and ensuring employment opportunities for them.
"Entrepreneurs at the incubation centre will become self-reliant after overcoming the initial hurdles," he added.
In addition, a business incubation expert from Asian Development Bank (ADB) discussed the National Incubation Strategy at the workshop.
Draft strategy has been prepared under the Second Small and Medium Enterprise Development Project (SMEDP-2) and is being implemented with the financial and technical assistance of the ADB, the ADB official added.
Work of setting up two pilot incubation centres in Dhaka and Chattogram has already been completed with the financial assistance of ADB, said the incubation expert.
Suggestions also came for introducing business incubation centres in all public and private universities.
Additional Secretary, Ministry of Industries Md Selim Uddin called for coordination among all the incubation centres run by the government and private sector.
Bangladesh Institute of ICT in Development (BIID) CEO Md Shahid Uddin Akbar called for strengthening the SME sector in rural areas.