Monday, March 25, 2019 | ePaper

BB's policies boost up women entrepreneurs in BD

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BSS, Dhaka :
During her study career up to the Master's level, She fostered a dream to be the one quite independent with a unique business, unlike her other friends who had already been married or became mothers before completing their academic life.
After having her master degree in Islamic History, Sayra Khatun, did never think of usual professional choices of a middle class Banglai young lady, but floated a business that made her the owner of, somewhat, a typical tailoring house at Habiganj town in north-eastern Bangladesh.
Initially, it was a challenge for Sayra as the people around used to either raise their brows, or make faces, or even taunted but she had her solid determination in mind to move forward up to her desired success.
When all of her friends got married or looking for jobs, she wanted to become self-reliant and, hence, he opened a tailor shop in 2014 with a humble capital of Taka five lakh to the laughter or surprise of her family members and also the nearest ones.
"At that time, my brother and friends supported me for starting the business. Later, the credit supports of a bank made me a successful women entrepreneur," said Sayra Khatun, owner of the Girls Fashion Tailor at Habiganj district town.
At the beginning of her business, Sayra said, she worked hard, but she failed to make a good profit due to the lack of capital and raw materials.
"So, I went to the IFIC Bank for taking credit as a women entrepreneur. They gave me Taka 1,50,000 with low interest rate. I used the money for purchasing machineries. I made a good profit and paid off the entire loan within the scheduled time," Sayra, now the mother of a sweet son, said beaming out the rays of pride form her face.
Expressing here gratitude to the Bangladesh Bank (BB) for making the women oriented banking policy, Sayra said, she took another loan of Taka 2,00,000 and invested all the money for expanding her business.
"Now, the total capital of my shop is Taka ten lakh. My monthly income is about Taka 15 to 20 thousands. I am very happy as I can contribute in my family. I want to expand my business and do something for other women," she said.
Such a small but honest income per month after a hard toil made a modern lady like Sayra truly satisfied at a time when the government is up against the bribe eaters, bank money looters, illegal drug dealers, smugglers, land grabbers and toll collectors, among other corrupt elements, who want to become billionaires overnight through various unholy means.
Another lady named Rebeka Sultana aged 60 years already made her dream true by doing a beauty parlor business in the north-western Dinajpur District town.
"From my childhood, I wanted to do something myself. So, I opened the parlor in 1998 by taking loans from relatives. By working hard, I brought success in my business," the mother of a young son and a young daughter said.
In this case, the credit support of the IFIC bank helped a lot to expand her business. "In 2015, I took Taka ten lakh form the bank and paid of the loans loan in due time.
Later, I took another Taka fifteen lakh as credit from the same bank, raised my business to a further height and paid off the bank money at a convenient time," she said.
Talking to BSS, a senior BB official said while around half of the total population is women in Bangladesh, we cannot go ahead by leaving them behind. Several policy initiatives for the women entrepreneurs are already in force to encourage the women in business, train them up and enable them to have their stakes in markets," he added.
He said the central bank is managing several refinance funds for entrepreneurs. "Fifteen percent of the total refinance fund for the SME sector has been allocated to women at a capped interest rate of the bank rate+4 percent (currently 9 percent)," he added.
He informed that the provision for extending collateral free loans to women entrepreneurs is up to an amount of Taka 2.5 million. The senior official said BB is allowing group based lending so that micro level women entrepreneurs have wider access to the formal financial system.

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