Speakers at the inauguration of a workshop have stressed the need for avoiding lengthy banking formalities for women entrepreneurs, as they are facing difficulty at the time of applying for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) loan.
The day-long workshop on 'Development of SME and Access to finance' was organised by the Women Entrepreneurs Association of Bangladesh (WEAB) at the city's Gulshan Club Tuesday.
Former governor of Bangladesh Bank (BB) and Palli Karma Sahayak Foundation (PKSF) Managing Director Fakruddin Ahmed was the chief guest of the workshop chaired by WEAB President Nasreen Awal Mintoo.
Ahmed expressed his satisfaction over the performance of the women entrepreneurs in the country. He said, "Women possess a hidden entrepreneurship quality, as they are basically entrepreneurs in their family and professional life."
He, however, called upon the civil society and banks to come forward with their facilities and encourage the women entrepreneurs who could play a significant role in the country's employment generation.
"Small businesses are able to generate more employment with loans rather than the big industries", he said.
Nasreen said, women entrepreneurs are facing constraints due to lack of market access, knowledge and technical know-how.
She has also identified some banking obstacles like delay in SME loan processing, private banks' inadequate loan timeframe, higher rate of interest and complicated tariff system for exporting products that discourage such entrepreneurs.
Eastern Bank Limited Managing Director K Mahmud Sattar laid emphasis on research on women entrepreneurs for identifying their actual needs.
He said the government has recognised SME as a driving force of economy and the EBL is also promoting the sector by expanding its services and opening SME centres.
Women entrepreneurs from Cox's Bazar, Rajshahi, Chittagong Hill Tracts, Rajbari and Sylhet attended the workshop.
EBL Head of SME Banking Akhter Kamal Talukder delivered the vote of thanks.