58 stalls of 54 banks are showcasing products
Parvin Akter, a woman entrepreneur from Rajshahi, started her business, "Rajshahi Nakshighor," in 1998 without any financial support from banks.
Later, in 2016, Bank Asia helped her with a small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) loan. Today, Parvin is a successful entrepreneur, producing various products, including Nakshi Kantha bed sheets, yoga mats, and Nakshi Kantha clothing.
Generating employment for around 200 workers, Parvin received the National Women Entrepreneurship award in 2017.
“Bank Asia's loan came as a blessing for me. With their loan, I expanded my business to the state it is now today,” said Parvin.
Besides Parvin, many other women entrepreneurs are showcasing their products at the Banker-SME Women Entrepreneur Fair-2019, being held in Dhaka's Bangladesh Shishu Academy.
The SME and Special Programmes Department of Bangladesh Bank organized the three-day fair which began on Friday, to promote women entrepreneurs and their products.
Sanjana Ali, another entrepreneur and proprietor of Sanjana’s Exclusive House, is showcasing women’s clothing, jewellery, and cosmetics at the fair. She achieved success with financial assistance from Standard Bank.
Society for Development Initiatives (SDI) is showcasing agricultural products at the fair, through their Promoting Agricultural Commercialization and Enterprise (PACE) project. The purpose of this project is to produce and supply foods free of harmful chemicals.
Islami Bank Bangladesh is also showcasing various products made by women entrepreneurs they lent money to. The shariah-based bank provides loans to women entrepreneurs involved in the businesses of tailoring, manufacturing furniture, agro-business, distribution of seeds, leather industry, poultry farm, and the boutique garment sector.
LankaBangla Finance provides loans—ranging from Tk3 lakh to a maximum of Tk50 lakh—to women entrepreneurs as well. The maximum time limit for repaying these loans is 60 months.
Speaking to the Dhaka Tribune, Bank Asia Executive Officer (in charge of Monitoring and Collection Unit of MSME and Agro Division), Sarwar Jahan, said: “Women entrepreneurs do not have to suffer to get loans from Bank Asia. We provide collateral-free loans to all women entrepreneurs. However, it is difficult to find enough women entrepreneurs.”
According to the information desk of Bangladesh Bank, 58 stalls of 54 banks are showcasing products made by women entrepreneurs they have funded. The fair which will end today will be open to visitors from 9am to 8pm.