INTEREST & EXPERIENCE IN SME FINANCING - DHAKA BANK LIMITED
Since inception, the Dhaka Bank has held socio-economic development in high esteem and was among the first to recognize the potentials of SMEs.
Dhaka Bank’s Involvement
Recognizing the SME segment’s value additions and employment generation capabilities quite early, the Bank has pioneered SME financing in Bangladesh in 2003, focusing on stimulating the manufacturing sector and actively promoting trading and service businesses.
Story of a successful Branch in SME Financing
The Bank started branch operations at Belkuchi Sirajgonj in April 2003. Prior to the Bank’s intervention, the weaving community did not have the financial strength to stock their products till “Eid ul Fitr” when the annual sale takes place. Traders were taking advantage to the situation by buying up entire productions at low prices and liquidating stocks just before “Eid”. With financial services from Dhaka Bank Limited, the weavers have converted to power looms, significantly increased profitability and reduced the involvement of middlemen. We are now working on institutionalizing the learnings and applying them in other areas across Bangladesh, particularly in textiles, light engineering and other manufacturing clusters. Already we have identified several clusters and are working on improving access to finance within these clusters.
Experience & Learnings
In our opinion, the single largest problem of the lower end of the SME sector is that they are unable to fully understand their needs. Even if these needs are understood, they are seldom met with the right product mix. Small business owners are unable to provide banks with required information of the right type and quality. This has created a gap between the borrower and the banks and has served to limit the outreach of SME financial products.In order to overcome this obstacle, Dhaka Bank SME Unit provides comprehensive support to prospective clients in evaluating their business and preparing the required documents in acceptable formats.In this regard, the Dhaka Bank SME Unit has been working in close collaboration with the USAID, the SouthAsia Enterprise Development Facility (SEDF) an International Finance Corporation (IFC) managed multidonor facility and the World Bank.
We have recently been provided technical assistance by the World Bank and are also working with other development agencies and donors for continuous improvements in the products and services we offer.
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