Women entrepreneurs can easily entitle for the support fund
The Bangladesh Bank on Sunday amended its Entrepreneurship Support Fund (ESF) guidelines for food processing, agriculture and ICT sectors to make it easier for entrepreneurs.
In the amended complete guideline, the BB has included a definition for women entrepreneurs for the first time so that they can get equity support to run their own projects.
To boost food processing, agro-based, and information and communication technology projects, the government had introduced a fund named "Equity and Entrepreneurship Fund" in 2000.
In 2018, the fund's name had been changed to "Entrepreneurship Support Fund (ESF)," from which a business can get a low-cost loan at maximum 49% of its equity.
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As per the BB’s amended guideline for ESF, a food processing and agro-based project, whose projects cost from Tk80 lakh to Tk5 crores, and machine-dependent projects costing a maximum of Tk12 crores, can avail loans from the funds.
Women entrepreneurs can avail loans for projects costing only Tk5 lakhs from the funds, as per the new guideline.
If 51% share in a project share belongs to a women entrepreneur and if it is run by a woman, the project will be eligible for availing loan from the ESF.
MFIs to get more funds from Tk3000cr refinance scheme
Microfinance institutions (MFIs) will get more funds from the Tk3,000 crores refinancing scheme to lend marginal businessmen affected by pandemic.
“The maximum amount of financing by a bank to a microfinance institution will be 30% of the average loan distributed by the microfinance institutions in the last three years, or 5% of the total funds of the mentioned refinancing scheme,” according to the circular issued on Sunday.
MFIs could avail loans up to 2% of the total refinancing funds, according to the previous circular.
On April 20, this year, the Bangladesh Bank unveiled the refinance scheme to help recover low-income professionals, marginal farmers and micro-enterprises who have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.