Cox’s Bazaar, Bangladesh (BBN)-Bangladesh Bank (BB) Governor Dr. Atiur Rahman has announced a unique scheme especially for micro women entrepreneurs to expedite the ongoing financial inclusion programmes in Bangladesh.
Under the initiative, all commercial banks and non-banking financial institutions (NBFIs) will have to provide minimum Tk 50,000 as loan to at least a woman entrepreneur each year.
A total of 9228 branches of all banks and NBFIs will provide the loans to the women entrepreneurs across the country.
“We’ll able to create nearly 10,000 women entrepreneurs every year if the initiative continues,” Governor Dr. Rahman said.
He was announcing the fresh scheme in addition the ongoing programmes at a view exchange meeting between bankers’ and SME women entrepreneurs in Cox’s Bazaar Friday afternoon.
The BB governor also asked the banks and NBFIs to expedite the implementation of ongoing financial inclusion programmes across the country through strengthening financing in SME entrepreneurs particularly the women.
The central bank chief hoped that with the initiative, the small women entrepreneurs will turned into meddle ones gradually.
He also said the BB has not only created separate unit managed by women officials for women entrepreneurship development but also has directed all banks and NBFIs to have similar units.
As a result, thousands of women entrepreneurs are having access to finance in different clusters.
Besides, the central bank of Bangladesh has taken special policy measures and opened refinance windows to facilitate development of women empowerment in various sectors.
Describing various initiatives, taken by the BB, in the last five years, the governor said: “We want women empowerment for achieving balanced and gender friendly economic growth in Bangladesh.”
Dr. Rahman also said our women entrepreneurs have already earned fame that have also been lauded by a British Member of Parliament recently.
Rt Hon Caroline Spelman, the Member of Parliament (MP) for Meriden Constituency in the West Midlands, United Kingdom, mentioned the success of mobile banking for garment workers in Bangladesh during a debate on the eve of International Women’s Day 2015 in the British Parliament on March 5 last.
“If we are able to sustain the progress of the women empowerment, then we will be recognized by the whole world,” the BB governor noted.
Besides, Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI) has already awarded the BB for its policy contribution towards reaching out to mass people’s doorstep with mobile financial services, the governor added.
Among others, Executive Directors of the central bank M Mahfuzur Rahman, Mizanur Rahman Jodder and Nirmal Chandra Bhakta also spoke on the occasion.
Nearly 1,000 women entrepreneurs, senior officials and executives of all commercial banks took part in the conference in the beach city of Bangladesh.