Bangladesh Bank (BB) has once again requested that all banks and non-banking financial institutions (NBFIs) make loans available to women entrepreneurs through the “Small Enterprise Refinance Scheme” in accordance with their demands.
According to BB, some banks and NBFIs are having difficulty determining who is eligible for loans. To address this issue, it directed the entities to make loans only to women entrepreneurs in the cottage, micro, and small (CMS) enterprise sector. According to central bank sources, the directive was reiterated because loans were not being disbursed as expected. Under the scheme, a woman entrepreneur in the CMS sector can apply for a loan ranging from Tk10,000 to Tk50 lakh at a 5 per cent interest rate, with the government providing an additional 1 per cent as an incentive.
According to the CMSME financing master circular issued by BB on September 5, 2019, banks and NBFIs will consider providing third-party personal guarantees as alternative collateral for a loan up to a maximum of Tk25 lakh to women entrepreneurs. According to this definition, a woman is considered an entrepreneur if she fully owns an entity or owns 51 per cent of any organization.