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Getting bank loan is not easy, women entrepreneurs say

Published : Tuesday, 21 March, 2017 at 12:00 AM Count : 263
Jibon Islam

When women entrepreneurs are globally well known as good borrowers, banks in Bangladesh are shy to provide loan to women entrepreneurs. As a result, women entrepreneurs got less than 1 per cent loan of the banking sector in 2016.
The central bank officials said banks disbursed total loan amounting to Tk 7,12,891 crore last year, while women entrepreneurs got only 0.76 per cent amounting to Tk 5345 crore.
"Banks are not positive to us. Many of us have submitted potential and viable projects. But we didn't get approvals as we are women," Momotaz Begum, a disgruntled women entrepreneur told the Daily Observer,
There are 41675 women entrepreneurs in the country who are making significant contribution to the economic growth.
Eight public and specialist banks disbursed Tk 1,45,678 crore as loan in 2016 out of which women entrepreneurs received only Tk 727 crore or 0.49 per cent. Such awesome situation regarding extending loans to the women entrepreneurs is also common with other banks -- Janata, Agrani, Sonali, Rupali, BASIC, BDBL, Bangladesh Krishi bank, Rajshahi Krishi Unnayan Bank.
Out of total loans disbursed to women entrepreneurs, the Islami Bank accounted for 43 per cent against 57 per cent by 50 other banks in both public and private sectors.
Private banks gave a total of Tk5,03,093 crore as loan in the past year including Tk4,111 crore to the women in business. Nine foreign banks disbursed Tk4,513 crores of which Tk42 crore went to women entrepreneurs.
Mohammad Shams-ul Islam, Managing Director of Agrani Bank, told the Daily Observer, many women entrepreneurs were unable to come up with "acceptable project" to get loan. Due to this, women entrepreneurs often do not qualify to receive bank loan.
He said, Bangladesh Bank (BB) always insists private, public and foreign banks to grant loan to women entrepreneurs. But the amount of such loan has not increased over the years because the lender banks do not find the projects suitable for funding.
Islam further said as a new initiative the public banks have appointed women officers and trainees to deal with women clients, especially women entrepreneurs. If there is a suitable project banks are always ready to give loan to the women in business, he said.
Momotaj Begum, woman entrepreneur, told the Daily Observer "banks are not positive about helping us. Even if we approach them with better project profile and viable project they are reluctant to give us loan. Therefore, getting bank loan is not easy for women entrepreneurs in the country."

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