Dhaka, Bangladesh (BBN) – The new chairman of the SME Foundation, Aftab ul Islam, has stressed the need for creation of a separate SME bank under the organization to further promote the small and medium enterprises.

Chief of the SME Foundation was talking with the reporters at the foundation office in the capital, Dhaka on Wednesday.

“Our entrepreneurs need access to finance, and to ensure this, the SME Foundation has to set up its own bank,” Mr Aftab added.

The SME Foundation was formed in 2007. It is currently providing credit through two non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

Mr Aftab, the first private sector entrepreneur to head the foundation, also said he will lobby with the government to set up a separate bank for the SMEs only.

The SME chief also stressed the need for SME movement to create awareness and help increase the number of SME entrepreneurs in the country.

Around 100,000 SMEs along with over 600,000 micro and cottage industries are in operation in the country, according to SME Foundation.

BBN/SS/SI/AD-02September09-11:57 pm (BST)