Policy Initiatives for Women Entrepreneur

Financial Inclusion has been prioritized in Bangladesh Bank’s policy to include small entrepreneurs and a large number of women in financial activities. To ensure this, Bangladesh Bank has undertaken a number of policy initiatives for women entrepreneur. These are as follows:

 To encourage women entrepreneur for taking SME initiatives, financing facilities is being provided at low cost (bank rate + 4%) where Banks/NBFIs get refinance at bank rate.

 Minimum 15% of all refinance windows has been allotted for women entrepreneur.

 Regulatory provision for collateral free loan for women entrepreneur against personal guarantee up to BDT 25 lac has been made.

 For greater inclusion of the marginal and home based women entrepreneur, loan limit has been set up to BDT 10,000/- and group based lending of up to BDT 50,000 is permitted.

 The lower limit of SME credit for cottage, micro and small industries has been reduced to BDT 10,000, BDT 20,000 and BDT 50,000 respectively.

 To extend credit facilities to new women entrepreneur, circular has been issued for all branches of Banks/Non-Bank Financial Institutions to find out at least three women interested in having enterprise or becoming women entrepreneur within the catchment area for imparting training in the field of their interest for capacity building and above all extend credit facilities to minimum one of those training receivers.

 Instruction has been given to Banks/Non-bank Financial Institutions for prioritizing women entrepreneurs in extending credit facilities and to take capacity building initiatives for their existing and prospective women clients.

 To ensure prompt services for Women Entrepreneurs, Banks/Non-Bank Financial Institutions are advised to set up separate “Women Entrepreneur Dedicated Desk” in each branch of Banks and NBFIs. The desk is advised to provide support to prospective women about the preparation of loan able business proposal, marketing strategies etc.

 To strengthen monitoring activities of women entrepreneur’s development initiatives, Banks/Non-Bank Financial Institutions are advised to set up Women entrepreneur Development Unit (WEDU) in all of their Head Office.

 Recently Bangladesh Bank has introduced Simplified Loan Application Form in Bengali for SME Entrepreneurs including Women Entrepreneur. This initiative will reduce difficulties in meeting documentation requirements.

 Bangladesh Bank has issued a Circular to provide 03 months grace period for 1 year term loan, 03-06 months grace period for medium & long term loan in favor of Cottage, Micro & Small (CMSME) Entrepreneurs.