Industries Minister Nurul Majid Mahmud Humayun urged everyone, including all financial institutions, to come forward with more financing to entrepreneurs in the small and medium enterprise (SME) sector.
He made the call while addressing the inauguration ceremony of the 10th National SME Product Fair at Bangabandhu International Conference Center yesterday as the chief guest.
Some 325 SMEs are exhibiting their products at 351 stalls at the 10-day fair organised by the SME Foundation. Of the organisations, some 130 are from the fashion design sector, 45 from food and agro-processing, 38 from handicrafts, 36 from leather, and 35 from the jute sector.
Among the entrepreneurs participating at the fair, 60 per cent are women and 40 per cent are men.
The fair will be open for visitors from 10 am to 8 pm every day.
The state-owned SME Foundation has taken various initiatives to introduce its programmes to the visitors at the fair, including setting up a secretariat, a media centre, a blood donation centre, and a buyer-seller meeting booth.
Six entrepreneurs were awarded by the SME Foundation in five categories at the fair’s opening day in recognition of their contribution to the sector.
Among the awardees, Md Mostafa Kamal owner of Safe Trading Corporation was recognised as the best male micro-entrepreneur and Israt Jahan Chowdhury of Tulika, a jute goods manufacturer and exporter, as the best female micro-entrepreneur.
Two other jute goods manufacturers and exporters Md Mafujul Gani of Gani Creation and Md Obaidul Haque Rasel of Emmas Footwear were jointly recognised as best male small entrepreneurs, while Taslima Khatun of Tanin Sports and Dairy bagged the award among female entrepreneurs. Md Nazrul Islam was awarded as the best male medium entrepreneur.
State Minister for Industries Kamal Ahmed Majumdar, Industry Secretary Zakia Sultana and FBCCI President Md Jasim Uddin were special guests in the opening ceremony presided over by Professor Md Masudur Rahman, chairman of SME Foundation.
SME foundation will also arrange five seminars on easy financing for SME entrepreneurs, women entrepreneurs, technology, ICT, and cluster development on November 27, 28, and 29 at the fair venue.
From 2012, about 1,886 entrepreneurs have sold products worth about Tk 32.88 crore while receiving orders worth around Tk 53.50 crore at the SME fairs, according to the SME Foundation.