Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN)– UK aid has launched a £ 22.5 million “Business Finance for Poor in Bangladesh (BFP-B)” project to help banks and non-banking financial institutions (NBFIs) to easily reach the micro and small enterprises in rural areas. 

The fund is equivalent to about BDT 2.67 billion which will be allocated to banks and NBFIs as grants to promote new business lending to poor rural entrepreneurs.

“The BFP-B programme will help financial inclusion expand substantially in Bangladesh,” Bangladesh Bank (BB) Governor Dr. Atiur Rahman said while formally launching the project at a function at Westin Hotel in Dhaka on Sunday.

The central bank chief the BFP-B will play a key role in nourishing the micro and small enterprises to enhance their productivity and contribute to the economy to create a comprehensive growth base.
He hoped the project will also help frame a policy and regulatory environment towards development of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME).
The function was also addressed, among others, by Banking Division Secretary Dr M Aslam Alam, Bangladesh Bank deputy governor S K Sur Chowdhury, DFID Bangladesh country representative Sarah Cooke and Nathan Associates team leader David Munro.

Appreciating the British government’s initiative to support the financial inclusiveness for the poor entrepreneurs, Dr Rahman said Bangladesh has already secured second position in financial inclusion in South Asian countries. “Bangladesh is far ahead of its neighbours in financial inclusion movement. In global financial inclusion index of the World Bank, it ranks ‘second’ in South Asia.”

The BB governor thanked the participating institutions for their driving thrust for mainstreaming the poor and the women in the financial inclusion initiatives.

BBN/SSR/AD-08Feb15-8:45 pm (BST)