Bangladesh Bank (BB) has again asked all the banks and non-banking financial institutions (NBFIs) to ensure loans for women entrepreneurs from the “Small Enterprise Refinance Scheme” in line with their demands.
The central bank issued a circular in this regard on Monday, which said the directive was being reiterated BB has found that many lenders were not approving or disbursing loans from the scheme properly against the demand from women entrepreneurs.
BB said that some banks and NBFIs are facing difficulties in determining eligible loan applicants. To overcome this problem, it asked the entities to give loans to only women entrepreneurs from the cottage, micro and small (CMS) enterprise sector.
Earlier, the same directive was issued in another circular on August 4, 2021. Central bank sources said the directive has been reiterated as loans were not being disbursed as expected.
Under the scheme, a woman entrepreneur from the CMS sector can apply for a loan of a minimum of Tk 10,000 to a maximum of Tk 50 lakh against a 5 per cent interest rate, of which one per cent would be given by the government as an incentive.
Banks and NBFIs will consider providing third-party personal guarantees as alternative collateral for a loan up to a maximum of Tk 25 lakh to women entrepreneurs, according to the CMSME financing master circular issued by BB on September 5, 2019.
According to that, a woman would be considered an entrepreneur if she fully owns an entity or holds a 51 per cent share of any organization.