Bangladesh Bank Governor Fazle Kabir on Saturday said small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) can contribute to the country’s journey towards achieving double-digit GDP growth.
He said this while speaking at an inauguration ceremony of SME Diploma Programme at Spectra Convention Center in the capital.
It was launched with the support of EU-funded PRISM Project-Technical Assistance to BSCIC Component, in collaboration with Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation, Daffodil International University, and Bangladesh Bank Training Academy.
Kabir said: “Bangladesh Bank is making all policy supports to encourage entrepreneurs. The diploma programme is important for creating skilled entrepreneurs. All banks have been instructed to provide at least 20 percent of the loans to SME.
“There is a good future for them (SME entrepreneurs). SME will create jobs and boost economic growth. Micro industry is also developing here, and so we have a bright future.”
He urged people to be entrepreneurs. “They can get loans at 2 percent interest from Entrepreneurship Support Fund,” he said.
There is 10.22 percent growth of small and cottage industry and 13.7 percent in large industry in Bangladesh, the governor noted. “So, we should give priority to Small and Cottage sector to create employment,” he added.
Selima Ahmad, a member of Parliament, urged BB to provide funds to youth entrepreneurs to help Bangladesh achieve a developed country status by 2041.
“People, especially women entrepreneurs, face various bureaucratic complexities in bank and other offices. These complexities, affecting the business, should be reduced,” she said.
Abu Taher Khan, Director of DIU’s CDC, read the keynote paper on SME Diploma Programme with Specialisation in SME & Entrepreneurship and SME Banking & Finance.
He said around 80 percent workers are engaged in SME sector but only a small number of them is educated. The production could have been higher if they had academic education. “So, we should teach them through such diploma programme about how to increase productivity,” he said.
Industries Secretary Md Abdul Halim; BSCIC Director Md Mahbubur Rahman; Manfred Fernholz, team leader of Food Security and Nutrition and Sustainable Development and delegation of the European Union to Bangladesh; Rokia Afzal Rahman, president of Bangladesh Federation of Women Entrepreneurs; and Dr Md Sabur Khan, chairman of DIU, among others, were present.