Micro enterprises involve production of the goods by the small entrepreneurs by ways of processing basically our agricultural goods. Their main objective is to change the fate of the rural people by the efforts to start small industries with a small number of the workforce. However, because of comparatively easier possibility for the marketing of the goods in the urban and suburban areas, the intensive expansion of micro-enterprises is witnessed in such areas.
But the industries set up with small capital make enormous contributions to national development. Micro-enterprises play a very useful role in augmentation of supplies and streamlining of distribution arrangements, opening up possibilities to tap the potential for forgoing linkages between the agricultural enterprises and industrial ventures and maintaining the high rate of growth in the agricultural sector and ensuring the growth of production on a long-term sustained basis.
The migration of people to the cities from the rural areas is a worrisome aspect of socio-economic life in Bangladesh. For that matter, it is necessary to establish rural industries to put a check on rural-to-urban migration of people. In the light of this situation, the micro-enterprise development project in which Bangladesh Krishi Bank (BKB) -- the state-run financial institution -- is involved, provides a new direction for development of country's 86 thousand villages.
The project is aimed at creating the opportunities for processing of agricultural goods, establishment of the poultry and dairy farms, ventures in fisheries, and small and cottage industries through expanded loan opportunities.
It is very inspiring to note here that other banks have also come forward to sanction loans under the micro enterprise project.
Under the project, the employees of the BKB are to assist the clients by providing the necessary suggestions and special assistance after they have applied for the loan.
To increase the flow of loans under the project, the executives of the bank at every branch have to be very caring about assisting the potential clients in order to increase the flow of funds under the projects.
The sectors covered under the loan facility to be offered through the micro enterprise development project includes the production of seeds and agricultural goods, setting up of processing plants for agricultural foods, promoting supporting activities for marketing of agricultural goods, small and cottage industries, nurseries, cattle fattening schemes, shrimp cultivation, fisheries, goat farming, promotion of poultry firms etc.
Any Bangladeshi citizen, aged between 18 and 45, can apply for the loan. However, it is necessary to have the requisite experience and skill to run a micro enterprises. Under the BKB-supported project, no loan defaulter can receive loans.
Also those who have received the loans from other banks are not eligible to receiving the loan under the BKB-supported project.
The amount of the loan may range between Taka 50,000 and Taka 2,50,000. The security includes the assurance paper and the mortgage of the total property funded under the project.
The rate of interest for funds to be provided as loans under the project is 12 per cent for fixed capital operations and it is 14 per cent for working capital.
The special significance of the micro enterprise development project is that the members of the small scale entrepreneur development cell are to supervise its loan operation.
They are also to provide the information about the use of the channels for marketing and usability of the technology.