SME Foundation targets to distribute Tk200 crore in easy loans among marginalised and small and medium entrepreneurs by December this year to help them recover from Covid shocks.
Women entrepreneurs will get 30% of the fund and 40% will go to those in the manufacturing sector. The rest of the money will be disbursed to those engaged in the trading business across the country.
Nineteen banks and non-bank financial institutions will be providing loans of Tk1-50 lakh.
The foundation will sign an agreement with them on loan disbursement today at Bangladesh Parjatan Corporation in the capital's Agargaon.
In January, the government approved a Tk1,500cr stimulus package to support cottage, micro, small and medium entrepreneurs (CMSME's) through NGOs, government and semi-government institutions.
The interest rate is 4% and the repayment will be done in 24 equal instalments.
Eight institutions -- SME Foundation, Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation (BSCIC), Social Development Foundation, Palli Daridro Bimochon Foundation, Bangladesh Rural Development Board, Small Farmers Development Foundation, Joyeeta Foundation, and Bangladesh NGO Foundation -- were given the job of distributing loans.
But except for SME Foundation and BSCIC, all institutions failed to deliver the fund allotted to them by June.
SME Foundation disbursed Tk100 crore in credits among 925 entrepreneurs across the country until June. It will now distribute another Tk200 crore.
SME Foundation learnt that women, entrepreneurs from the manufacturing sector and traders had been affected badly by the pandemic.
Nazim Hasan Sattar, general manager of the foundation, said entrepreneurs of micro, small and medium enterprises needed loans more than others, but they could not access loans for failing to meet conditions set by banks.
Entrepreneurs to get such credits
Businessmen who have not yet received support from stimulus packages of the government, those working in the SME sub sector and clusters prioritized by the government, women and new entrepreneurs, enterprisers from marginalized, ethnic communities and entrepreneurs with disabilities and of third gender are on the list of loan recipients.
They will get individual and joint loans. But marginalised people, especially women entrepreneurs, will get loans in groups of five on the basis of bank-client relationships.
SME Foundation held a meeting on 4 September with representatives of the chambers of small and medium enterprises and women entrepreneurs' associations to discuss loan distribution.
It is going to sign deals with some new private and government banks and financial institutions, such as Bangladesh Krishi Bank and Rajshahi Krishi Unnayan Bank, to give loans to businessmen and women from rural backwaters, said Mofizur Rahman, managing director of SME Foundation.
The maximum credit amount is set at Tk50 lakh from Tk75 lakh to increase the number of beneficiaries, he added.