Women entrepreneurs to get Tk 25 lakh collateral-free loans soon: Barua

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Women entrepreneurs to get Tk 25 lakh collateral-free loans soon: Barua

SME Foundation managing director Syed Rezwanul Kabir and Eastern Bank managing director and chief executive officer Ali Reza Iftekhar exchange documents after signing an agreement in a city hotel on Sunday. — New Age photo

Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha . Dhaka

Industries minister Dilip Barua said on Sunday that steps would be taken to increase the volume of collateral-free loans for women entrepreneurs up to Tk 25 lakh from the existing Tk 7 lakh.

Terming access to finance as key barrier to the growth of the small and medium enterprises sector, he said the entrepreneurs cannot go a long way due to lack of finance and loans facility.

He was speaking at an agreement signing ceremony at a hotel in the city. The SME Foundation, Eastern Bank Ltd, USAID-PRICE project and Aarong, a trade organisation, signed the agreement.

Under the agreement, a Tk 1 crore would be disbursed among entrepreneurs of the leather industry involved in the Aarong marketing.

Bangladesh Bank governor Atiur Rahman, managing director of SME Foundation Syed Rezwanul Kabir, chief executive officer of EBL Ali Reza Iftekhar spoke on the occasion as special guests.

Barua said it is unfortunate that banks and financial institutions are interested to provide loans to business people instead of entrepreneurs.

The minister called upon the private sector to come forward to supplement the government efforts in creating more entrepreneurs to propel the growth of the country’s economy.

Atiur described the SME sector as an engine of the economic growth and said it can be used as a tool to cut poverty.

He stressed the need for addressing the financing problem to the SME sector and said the country has now around 2,500 small and medium entrepreneurs in the sector and it has created as many as seven lakh employments directly or indirectly.

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