Thursday, 21 October, 2021

SMEF holds match-making session for stimulus funds

  • Staff Correspondent
  • 29 September, 2021 12:00 AM
  • Print news

SME Foundation conducted a match-making session between woman entrepreneurs and bankers to ensure more inclusions in the disbursement of stimulus package loans.

The state-run organization is processing Tk 2 billion stimulus fund for the small and medium enterprises (SME) to recover rural economy from pandemic setback.

SME Foundation managing director Dr Mofizur Rahman was the chief guest at the session styled as “Women Entrepreneurs – Banker Matchmaking” at Parjatan Motel in Rajshahi on Tuesday.

Rajshahi Krishi Unnayan Bank chief executive Ismail Hossain and Bangladesh Bank general manager Mahtab Uddin were guests of honour on the occasion.

Dr Mofizur Rahman claimed that many entrepreneurs were deprived of the stimulus facilities due to the slow pace of the distribution.

“Besides, the small entrepreneurs were also not ready for taking the stimulus loans following the requirements of banks amid pandemic,” he said.

“SME Foundation has been working to raise awareness among founders, especially the women entrepreneurs to maintain formal paperwork,” Dr Rahman said.

He also urged the bankers to offer softness in behavior with the small entrepreneurs for ensuring more inclusive distribution of loan.

“No bank claims charge from the entrepreneurs except 4 percent interest and stamp charge for agreement. The message should be delivered at all branches so no entrepreneur does not return from banks not taking loans,” said SME Foundation MD.

 SME Foundations is distributing the second phase of stimulus package loans for small enterprises through partnership with 18 banks and non-bank financial institutes across the country. For ensuring the maximum inclusion of the facilities, the authorities have begun process to sign up with Bangladesh Krishi Bank and Rajshahi Krishi Unnayan Bank apart from other public-private entities.

SME Foundation has set indicators for getting priorities in the credit programme, including the applicants who didn’t receive the benefits in the first phase, businesses in SME sub-sectors and clusters and women entrepreneurs. The priority is also being given to new entrepreneurs who never received the credit, underprivileged communities, ethnic groups, differently abled entrepreneurs and third gender community.

The entrepreneurs will get the loan in 4 percent interest while the repayment should be made in maximum 24 equal monthly installments.