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24 June 2024

Business Insider Bangladesh

UK announces $50mn loan for Bangladesh’s MSMEs, women entrepreneurs

BI Desk || BusinessInsider

Published: 01:02, 15 May 2024  
UK announces $50mn loan for Bangladesh’s MSMEs, women entrepreneurs

Photo: Collected

British International Investment (BII), the UK's development finance institution (DFI) and impact investor has announced a loan commitment of $50 million to BRAC Bank, a leading SME bank in Bangladesh, to support small businesses and women entrepreneurs.

The loan will provide vital funding to support growth of micro-, small- and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and women-led businesses - the bedrock of Bangladesh's economy, said a BII press release disseminated by British High Commission in Dhaka on Tuesday, reports BSS.

"This investment reinforces the UK's commitment to support inclusive and sustainable development in Bangladesh and is a great demonstration of the UK's modern economic partnership with Bangladesh," said British High Commissioner in Dhaka Sarah Cooke on the occasion.

She said it will enable small businesses and female entrepreneurs in Bangladesh to take up more economic opportunities and create more jobs.

There are around 10 million MSMEs in Bangladesh, employing roughly 80 percent of the population and responsible for half of the country's industrial output.

The Central Bank of Bangladesh recognises the segment as indispensable for overall economic development in the country and specifically women entrepreneurs as crucial for attaining sustainable economic growth and poverty reduction.

However, access to finance has been a major challenge, with only 20 percent of total loans in the country going to SMEs, including female-owned enterprises, according to BRAC Bank's data.

Half of BII's loan will be directed to MSMEs and the other half will target women entrepreneurs with an expectation to reach up to 3,500 MSMEs and women entrepreneurs in total and accelerate their business growth.

This investment supports UN SDG 5 on Gender Equality, SDG 8 on Decent Work and Economic Growth, as well as SDG9 on Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure, said the release.